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Businesses adapt to life under lockdown

Experts at a Shropshire accountancy firm say despite its difficulties, the Coronavirus lockdown has actually created new commercial opportunities for some of its clients.

Francesca Hutcheson, Tax Director at Dyke Yaxley Chartered Accountants, in Shrewsbury, said: “It is more important than ever to try to look for the positive ways in which businesses are getting to grips with the ‘new normal’ and the commercial opportunities it brings.

“For many businesses, coronavirus is by far the toughest problem they have ever had to face: customers are under lockdown, retail businesses have shut their doors, turnover has fallen away almost overnight and many employers have had to furlough large numbers of staff.

“But despite the current uncertainty, some companies are demonstrating high levels of business agility; looking for new routes to market, new opportunities and new ways of doing business with both new and existing customers.

“At Dyke Yaxley, we have seen a number of our clients in the hospitality sector moving to a delivery-only model, and corporate training providers have moved away from the physical classroom environment and are delivering their courses online.”

Mrs Hutcheson said the firm also had clients in the food manufacturing sector who were scaling up production to keep up with current demand, although they had needed to review the way their factories were run to make sure that they were operating in a safe, social-distancing environment.

“Businesses in the recycling, waste and green energy sectors are generally less susceptible to consumer trends. And in fact, one of our manufacturing clients has just received their biggest ever order to date from an overseas customer – although they won’t be able to ship the products until some of the lockdown restrictions start to be eased.

“Many companies are also using their skills and networks to help the NHS and frontline workers, including a digital marketing business designing a new platform to help firms to create Personal Protective Equipment.

“But one of the most positive things to come out of the Coronavirus crisis is the increase in collaboration between colleagues, clients and our other contacts. If the last five weeks have taught us anything, it is that we really are all in this together.”

Pictured: Francesca Hutcheson

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