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The Director's Take - 28/09/2020
Posted on: September 28th 2020


This week’s Directors Take from Julie Hawker, Chamber board director and joint chief executive of Cosmic.




Workplace vs working from home?  How businesses plans have changed
With restrictions tightening again and people asked to ‘work from home, if they can’, Exeter Chamber members were polled on their plans going forward.

Julie said: “Businesses are taking a pragmatic approach to the latest restrictions, with around two thirds of businesses having at least a presence in their premises, while one third of workers continue to be based at home full time. Whether arranging a COVID safe and secure return to workplaces, or continuing to support staff being productive in working at home, we encourage all businesses to make sure that they keep up-to-date with the latest recommendations and guidelines.”


Financial support for Exeter Airport
A package of financial support to ensure Exeter Airport can avoid the ‘worst case scenario’ of closure is set to be signed off by East Devon District Council this week.

Councillors will be asked to approve a package of measures to support the Airport, including a further deferral of £180,000 business rate relief, forward-funding the Airport’s share of the Long Lane enhancement scheme to the tune of nearly £750,000, and to endorse the concept of a sustainable aviation cluster centred on Exeter Airport.

Project director Andrew Wood, in his report to the cabinet, said: “The package of support is in place for the Airport to help counteract the impact of the lockdown, promote recovery and chart a course to a more sustainable future.”




Potential impact of Job Support Scheme 
Following the announcement of Rishi Sunak’s new job support scheme, businesses are calculating how they can benefit however business groups and economists are reporting that the scheme will not be enough to totally prevent redundancies in the sectors hardest hit by Covid-19 restrictions.

Torsten Bell, director of the Resolution Foundation, a think-tank, cautioned that “avoidable design flaws” would reduce the scheme’s impact, noting that it would cost an employer 33 per cent more to employ two part-time workers on the JSS than to hire one full-time worker.


For more information on the Job Support Scheme, click here for the Government factsheet:


Tech South West Awards shortlists announced
Leading tech companies and individuals from across the region have made it on to the 2020 shortlists of the Tech South West Awards 2020. 

The annual Tech South West Awards recognise and celebrate the sector’s incredible innovation, talent, creativity, entrepreneurship, business success, education, leadership and diversity.

The new Hero Award, sponsored by Cathedral Appointments, recognises companies who moved quickly to support the response to Covid-19.  Julie said: "I am delighted that Cosmic are finalists for this award along with two other superb companies in the region, Applegate and Sparx. This has been a challenging year, but what it has demonstrated is that need for sufficient digital skills through workforces is incredibly important."



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