20 March 2020, 17:00 PM
  • Paddy Bishopp, co-founder of start-up hub Shout About Suffolk, highlights the impact Covid-19 has had on his business and those in his care
“The only way forward is to work together as one”

With the updates on The Coronavirus and Government advice coming in thick and fast last week we made the very difficult decision to shut our office. It was a tough decision as we understand for some it is an important place for their work and working from home has its own issues but we have to put the safety of our members first

There are difficult times ahead for all business, but we have to act responsibly. In a way we are fortunate that our Lab start ups are very early stage and do not have big overheads. Niche Cocktails, our cocktails in cans for the hospitality sector is a prime example. Two weeks ago the energy and excitement of the 1st cans being produced and the 1st sales meetings being arranged was amazing. Sitting here today, the business is in hibernation for at least 12 weeks as we watch helplessly the hospitality space suffer tremendously.

Salaries will be covered but all other expenditure has been stopped. Niche are the lucky one having just successfully closed a funding round, we have two other businesses where funding is not complete and we have to be realistic that their plans could now be on hold. They are lucky that we pay the rent but we also have to be realistic, what if this lasts for six months, how do we keep the lights on and the dreams of our entrepreneurs alive. What we do understand is everyone is in the same position, we will all have tough decisions to make but we are also a community that will support each other, we are so fortunate to have built this collaborative mindset around us.

For those business owners who relied on our hot desking, I will be calling them, offering moral support and mentoring as we are fully aware that for many, they came to us for business support but also to be surrounded by others. Everyone is impacted in different ways and the only way forward is to work together as one.

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