Social Enterprise Exchange
Covid-19 and support for social enterprise
Social enterprises and community businesses work with some of the most vulnerable people and with some of the most deprived communities who will also be among those worst affected by the spread of the coronavirus. Many of the social enterprises with whom we work are among the frontline responders operating in the fields of health and social care and will face particular challenges of continuity and capacity as events unfold. Others work in sectors such as sports, food, transport and leisure, whose economies are already impacted. We are committed, as a partnership, to deliver the best possible response to these challenging circumstances including support for an effective response by the social enterprise sector as a whole in Sheffield City Region.
Among the objectives which we share are:
1. Protection of those most vulnerable
2. Reduction in the spread of the virus
3. Keeping the social economy going
What are we doing?
The Social Enterprise Exchange partners are putting practical measures in place to help reduce the health risks for individuals and the business and organisational risks for social enterprises and others with whom we engage. These measures include:
– monitoring developments and consulting with public officials, health professionals and other specialists
– ensuring our staff and associates are informed and act on the latest professional medical advice
– adjusting our own working practices to reduce the risk of spreading the virus
– undertaking our own continuity planning and scenario analysis
– working with our network of social enterprises and social entrepeneurs to gather information on their status, and to provide support to them in risk assessment, risk mitigation and continuity planning
– assisting to mobilise additional capacity for those social enterprises working in frontline response
Among the practical changes we are making at work are: facilitating home working for staff where feasible, reducing travel, holding face to face meetings only where necessary and using telephone and online tools as an alternative.
At a strategic level we are creating a short term post dedicated to our Covid-19 response strategy who will be responsible for risk assessment and mobilising support for social enterprises most in need (whether as frontline responders or facing significant business continuity challenges). We will be monitoring developments including public policies and funding, and we will be pushing for the inclusion of social enterprise in plans for support to businesses and in local and regional response planning. In addition, in our current grants round, we will welcome proposals that address relevant needs for capacity building and/or resilience. This grants round has a closing date of 16 April. For more information see www.socentxchange.net/grants
What other social enterprises can do?
– ensure staff are informed and acting on the latest professional medical advice
– adjust working practices to reduce the risk of spreading the virus
– undertake business continuity planning and implement appropriate mitigation strategies
– offer staff, volunteer and practical support to those working on frontline response
– keep us informed so that we can better understanding the nature of challenges faced
Department for Business/Public Health England – COVID-19: guidance for employers
Department for Business/Public Health England – COVID-19: support for businesses
Public Health England – Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for health professionals and other organisations
Public Health England – COVID-19: residential care, supported living and home care guidance
Department of Education / Public Health England – COVID-19: guidance for educational settings
NHS – Advice on Covid 19
NCVO – Your Organisation and Coronavirus
Cooperatives UK – Coronavirus: HR advice for our members
Westfield Health – Employer Guide: Preparing for Covid 19
Zurich – Organisational Resilience – Guidance on Pandemic Planning