Heather Myers, CEO of South and Mid Wales Chamber of Commerce, took part in a live panel discussion organised by South Wales Argus on 9 July.
Aimed at helping businesses in Newport and Gwent get back on track following lockdown, the Restart Newport online event was supported by the University of South Wales and Natwest.
As part of the newspaper’s pledge to be #ThereWithYou and support the local economy, South Wales Argus offered an incentive of £10,000 worth of print advertising for free to the first 20 businesses to sign up to the event, encouraging many local businesses to get involved.
Joining Heather on the panel, which was hosted by the regional newspaper’s new editor Gavin Thompson, were Dr Louise Bright, University of South Wales; Siwan Rees, Natwest and Tracey Brooks, Newport City Council.
The panel discussed the challenges facing the SME community in the region including workplace health and safety and how to engage and communicate with staff and customers. Sharing their accumulative expertise, the expert panel commented on leadership, resources and the wider impact on the region.
Additionally, ideas of best practices to reduce risks as businesses begin to restart and recover were discussed with Heather Myers contributing very useful and practical advice about walking through your premises to spot the touch points where action needs to be taken.
While providing advice, Heather highlighted two key areas of concern shared with the Chamber by businesses: making workplaces Covid-secure and bringing workers back from furlough with subsequent issues such as shift patterns, and travelling to and from the workplace.
Following the panel discussion, businesses had the opportunity to ask the experts in an interactive question and answer session.
Commenting on the event, Newport City Council leader Jane Mudd said: “The standout message from Restart Newport is the need to work together, to keep communicating and to keep supporting each other. It is really positive that so many of our businesses have come together to support each other throughout the session with tips and advice.”