Newquay BID finds new routine amidst COVID-19 Lockdown
Video meetings and setting up shop away from our usual working spaces have been things many businesses have had to quickly come to grips with during the COVID-19 lockdown. The days of separating home life from work life are now a thing of the past, and finding a new routine is something that has become paramount for so many.
One local business navigating this new way of working has been Newquay’s Business Improvement District (BID), whose very core relies upon two of the things seen stripped away due to COVID-19: interaction with people and a vibrant town centre.
Newquay BID Manager, Carla-Marie Jones, found collaboration and community to be of vital importance for both the business, and Newquay as a whole, to manage a way through the crisis.
“The first few weeks were spent virtually e-meeting new people, re-building old relationships with contacts that I may not have spoken with for a while, researching and joining newly created support platforms for BIDs, basically tapping into as much support around me as I could. This was the perfect time in which working together with other organisations with the same goals and aims as us had become more pressing and more important than ever before,” she said.
As the coronavirus lockdown hit, BIDs across the country recognised that continuing operations beyond the summer months would become a serious challenge without their primary income source of levy payments being sourced from local businesses. Carla turned to collective lobbying of local and national MPs, as well as the local council, working with other BIDs across Cornwall to secure financial cashflow assistance for their survival.
“Lobbying is not something that I would suggest is the strongest part of my skill set, so it was great to be able to share this workload with my other counterparts in Cornish towns and tap into others expertise around this. Although more than capable and able to hold my own, so to speak, collaboration and admitting weaknesses is so beneficial in the long run. My role is constantly varied and I very much have to be a jack of all trades, a little bit great or knowledgeable at everything, which is what makes my role so enjoyable and rewarding,” she said.
Carla has worked with the Skills Hub and Skills Connector Ian Watkiss throughout the COVID-19 crisis, using Ian as a sounding board and source of support during a period of great stress.
“The Skills Hub has been fantastic; Ian is a little gem and a total credit. We have exchanged emails throughout this period and it has been supportive knowing that there is someone I can fire off my brain dumps to, and refreshing to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel and future opportunity for growth and development, both personally and professionally, after all, learning is the key to growth” she said.
So what’s next for Newquay BID, as businesses begin to re-open their doors and the summer season looks set to begin in earnest?
“Change can be daunting but in every crisis there is also an opportunity to learn, adapt and potentially change the way in which we work and live. I am hopeful and optimistic we will stick to some of the new routines and habits we have created, a more levelled approach and balance between face-to-face meetings and virtual meetings being one. Often I can spend several hours a week commuting; think of how much time in a working week can now be re-utilised because of this one simple change by logging into a Zoom platform” Carla said.
Does your business need help in adapting and pivoting to this new way of working? Can the Skills Hub be your sounding board, just as it was for Carla and Newquay BID. Call Claire on 01209 708 660 to find out more about how we can help, or drop us a line via the Get In Touch tab at the top of our website.
The Skills Hub has been fantastic; Ian is a little gem and a total credit. It has been supportive knowing that there is someone I can fire off my brain dumps to, and refreshing to see that there is...future opportunity for growth and development, both personally and professionally, after all, learning is the key to growth.