Perhaps some of you have seen the aerial footage of our towns and cities deserted, like ghost towns, or maybe you’re one of our essential workers and have been on the road seeing it with your own eyes. Either way, it’s stinging to see the heart of our communities beating so slow as most of our beloved small businesses lay shut.
As a Local Enterprise Agency, we in Dungannon Enterprise Centre have helped tens of thousands of small businesses set up over the years. We’ve gotten to know those who are being hardest hit by the Corona Virus outbreak. We’ve stood next to them through the challenges and celebrated their successes with them. We’ve come to rely on so many of them for the things we usually take for granted – a hair-cut, getting photos taken, getting a leaky pipe fixed, touching up our living room with a fresh coat of paint before the overseas visitors arrive, sending our kids on work experience…
We are in the business of helping people, and today, I want to use this column space to reassure our small businesses here in Mid Ulster, and especially in Dungannon, that while our doors may be shut, we are very much open. We can’t see you face-to-face but we can take your calls and we can meet with you via Zoom video conferencing. Our team are every bit as dedicated to helping your business thrive as they were before the outbreak and we will be here after.
We understand that your small business is experiencing an unprecedented challenge that has never presented itself in our lifetime. We understand the pain behind closing your doors and laying off staff. We understand your worries for the future of your business. We understand the very steep learning curve that you are going through as you try to manage remote teams and that your managers, or you yourself, now need to develop entirely new skills for ensuring work continues in an environment completely unfamiliar to you and them. We understand the confusion around the government support available for small business owners and we empathise with newer self-employed business owners who aren’t eligible for any of the new financial measures, and that many proud people who have worked their whole lives now find themselves turning to systems like Universal Credit to survive economically. We understand that beneath all of this lie very real worries for the health of your families and friends.
And we are here for you. One thing is for sure, and that is that whether its in 3 months or 18 months, we will come out the other side of this and we will be wiser for it. Until then, we will gather all the information you need and get it out to you as quickly as we can turn it around – just follow us on Facebook where we will post all relevant information. Go to our website and sign up there to receive emails from us with advice and links. We are taking calls from small business owners who don’t know where to turn – call 028 87 723 489 and we will book you in to speak to one of our advisors either by phone or by video conferencing – we may not have all the answers but we’ll know that people who will. We’re video conferencing small business owners who are taking this time to re-evaluate their business models, processes, marketing and finances and need guidance on where to start. We’re moving all our support programmes online, so that the small business owners we support, still receive that support at a time when it is more vital to them than ever before. And, we’re on the phone for those who just want to chat with someone who gets it!
Like I said, our doors may be shut, but our mission to help small businesses to start up and grow is very much alive and well. We are still here for you. Whatever it takes! You can call us on 028 87 723 489, email us at email@example.com, visit our website to register to receive emails at www.dungannonenterprise.com or you can follow us on Facebook