News & Views

Reasons to be cheerful

I was hoping that my first blog on our new website would be an opportunity to be triumphant. The new site looks great with stacks of content and, with it, BMA is launching a range of new member benefits. Working with partners, we are able to provide members with a recruitment service and brokerage advice covering insurance, employee benefits and FX. A range of physio services are also offered through Fitback to help look after employees’ wellbeing. Finally, members are now able to purchase bundles of highly qualified leads gathered through innovative social marketing.

These bundles are great for manufacturers selling direct to consumers or as a support to their retail customers. Click on the member benefit tab for more details on each offer.  

However, for reasons that are obvious, now is not the time to be triumphant. COVID-19 is making us all live our lives differently, let alone run our businesses differently. My colleague Amy Kirk has put together a blog which pulls together signposting the best resources to help bathroom manufacturers through this difficult time. This week my time has been dominated by responding to Coronavirus, whether that’s managing its impact on the association or representing the industry to Government and stakeholders.  

But amid the doom and gloom I want to channel my inner Ian Dury and the Blockheads, and set us some ‘reasons to be cheerful’: 

  • Government is listening: for the first time in my career, it seems that HMG are listening to what businesses need for life support, and they’re responding rapidly 
  • Staying indoors might drive the home improvement channel: people stuck indoors might be driven to freshening up their old bathrooms 
  • A stimulus is coming: just like the post-war Keynesian consensus, a new political consensus is forming around providing the stimulus needed to help the economy recover, and construction should do well out of that 
  • We’ve embraced new ways of working: we’ve been forced to use Video calls instead of travelling to meetings. We’ve saved carbon and in the process probably made us all more productive. 
  • Community: like no other time in my life, I get the sense I’m part of a community and we’re all looking out for one another (with the exception of hoarders, who are tools).   
  • What’s Brexit?: Nobody is talking about Brexit anymore. Looking back it seems trivial in comparison to our immediate problems. The collaboration between nations COVID19 has necessitated might put a different spin on future negotiations  
  • COVID19 isn’t mutating: as reported in this article, this means when we have a vaccine its benefits will be lasting. 
  • There’s light at the end of the tunnel: After two months of lockdown, Wuhan is reopening on 8 April, and in Italy, new cases are falling and the first patient to contract the disease locally has now been released from hospital.  
  • After this, everyone’s going to want to let their hair down and have a party. That’s worth looking forward to.

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