BoA Business has been prevented by COVID-19 from organising the simple networking events that have been at the heart of our organisation since it was revived out of the old Chamber of Commerce. Even if the regulations allowed, networking breakfasts with a 2m gap between everyone just won’t work. The same with Link with a Latte and other get-togethers. And the very nature of what we do cannot be replicated through Zoom.

It’s now clear that this situation is extremely unlikely to change in the remaining months of 2020, and quite possibly into the Spring of 2021. 

BoA Business was never set up as a business advice or learning organisation. There are other groups whose purpose is to offer that resource, and who are themselves resourced to deliver information, guidance and learning. They include Business West, Wiltshire Council’s excellent Coronavirus Business Support pages and material from the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

Given this situation, and given the focus of all our businesses on survival over the coming months, it seems sensible to defer any attempt at electing a new Chair, Vice-Chair or Treasurer/Secretary until April next year at the earliest. The Golden Gudgeon and Crystal Vase Awards will also be held over until next year.  

In the meantime, as noted in our previous newsletter in June, any financial or legal issues requiring action will continue to be handled by departing Treasurer/Secretary Mike Greig. Mike and I will remain as the joint signatories for the BoA Business bank account for the time being.

HOWEVER, if there are members who are ready to step in with new ideas for BoA Business, and are willing to take those ideas forward, please get in touch with me by email or leave a comment on the website. We have a community of some 500 working individuals and businesses receiving this newsletter. Can we work together to secure the future of this vital group?

Meanwhile, it has been good to see so much activity from visitors in the town over recent weeks (and good to see the traffic lights were removed from the town bridge!). We all need to look after those around us – and that means using local businesses whenever we can – whether retailer, café/restaurant/ pub, website designer, trainer, financial services etc etc. We need each other if we’re going to get through this!

Look after yourselves
LUCY MILLAR, Chair.