St Albans Chamber of Commerce president on ‘determined spirit’ of businesses

Alastair Woodgate, President of St Albans and District Chamber of Commerce.

Alastair Woodgate, President of St Albans and District Chamber of Commerce. - Credit: Archant

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has hit hard for St Albans businesses, however the “determined spirit” of those closest to us has been highlighted by the district’s Chamber of Commerce President, Alastair Woodgate.

The Chamber has continued to support our local businesses throughout the lockdown imposed on businesses and individuals since March.

The organisation aims to provide networking opportunities and support. While it had to suspend its face-to-face events as a result of the virus, it has continued to fulfil its objectives.

Members have been invited to take part in weekly Wednesday webinars on a variety of issues relating to the coronavirus. At first, it made sure its members were aware of the grants and funding available, and the furlough scheme.

President Alastair Woodgate told the Herts Ad: “We wanted to make sure people were fully aware of what is available to them, and to help put people in touch with the right people who can help further. Other webinars have been on how we can support them to improve marketing through this period, and how to make the most of online marketing.

“Some businesses have managed to thrive through this, so we’re supporting those with information on apprenticeship schemes for those who may need to expand their staffing. These online webinars will continue through the summer.”

The chamber is also looking at getting motivational speakers to talk about how to make the most of the circumstances, and has been providing online networking opportunities.

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“St Albans has a lot of sole traders and businesses that may only have two or three members of staff,” Alastair continued.

“We can offer networking opportunities to get together and share experiences and ideas and that seems to be very valued.”

The organisation has just launched its business awards, which will take place online in September, and invites people to nominate businesses which have responded well to the challenges they faced this year.

“There’s a determined spirit among business people in St Albans. They will try to make the most and the best of a situation that surrounds them, and we are seeing that come to the forefront at the moment.”