Covid-19 announcement: supporting our members

To all Sussex Innovation members,

In these troubled times, we’re here to support you and your business.

As a business support organisation, we have a duty of care to our employees, our members, and everyone who visits Sussex Innovation. With the public health situation continuing to evolve rapidly, we're working hard this week to ensure that we deliver business continuity to all of our community over the coming weeks and months. We know that you have lots of questions, and we'll be providing regular updates to try and answer as many of them as possible as things become clearer.

PLEASE JOIN OUR SLACK COMMUNITY FOR LIVE UPDATES

First and foremost - both our physical offices in Falmer and Croydon will be remaining open until and unless the guidance from Public Health England changes. However, we will be operating a reduced service for in-person business consultancy. As part of our duty of care to our team, we have offered all staff the option to work remotely and practice social distancing, starting from Tuesday 17th March. We are also strongly recommending staying at home if you, or anyone that you are in regular contact with, are at risk due to underlying health conditions.

As we have a smaller team based in Croydon, our offices there will be affected somewhat differently. Sussex Innovation Croydon remains open to keyholders only. If you need to come in as a non-keyholder, please call Saffron (07718 587 883) and we can discuss helping you access the building.

We are reviewing our events schedule, and will keep you informed over the next few days as planned events are cancelled, rearranged or moved online. Virtual phone lines, when not manned, will go to voicemail and recordings will be emailed to you. We will temporarily not be offering an outgoing mail/courier service, and will be making arrangements for tenants to manage their visitors to our sites. If you have any other questions relating to our facilities, please email here if you are based in Falmer, or here if you are based in Croydon.

Due to the reduced number of people visiting the building, the Falmer cafe has taken the decision to reduce opening hours to 9am-2pm and sell only hot drinks, soup, snacks and packaged sandwiches as of Wednesday 18th March. This is in order to reduce the amount of waste food being created on site. As of Tuesday 24th March, the cafe will be closed until further notice - takeaway food is still available on campus from Eat Central, at the Bramber House building.

We recognise that this is an unprecedented situation and will have a direct impact on many of your businesses. We have therefore decided to put non-critical work on hold this week so that our team will be on call to help however we can. If you have any challenges that you would like to discuss, please arrange a call with the relevant member of our team:

  • For strategic reviews and crisis management - Nigel Lambe
  • For cash flow and tax questions - Jane Baker
  • For advice on keeping sales revenue healthy - Simon Chuter
  • For advice on managing pressure, maintaining team morale and wellbeing - Claire Pasquill
  • For technical advice and support with remote working tools - Chris O'Hare
  • For advice on maintaining communication with staff and clients - Joseph Bradfield
  • For seeking working capital and investment - Laurence Grant
  • For advice on business pivots and modelling new business opportunities - Peter Lane
  • For any other issues not addressed above - Helena Jevons [Helena can also connect you with advisor Monica Beckles, for information on employment law and HR management]

If we can't help to resolve an issue with you over the phone, please do still tell us what support you need. We will be listening out for what our members want, and using what you tell us to inform the more in-depth virtual training that we offer in the near future.

Most importantly of all, we're here to support you, and we know that you'll all be helping to support each other during this challenging period. If you're not already on our community Slack workspace, please take the time to join - we have created a new channel as a forum for sharing questions, expertise, challenges and advice. This will also be the first space that we use to publish further announcements and resources for everyone.

We won’t have as many staff in the building, but we are very much open for business and here to help you through these challenging times. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us with any issue we might be able to help you with, no matter how small it might seem.

Stay safe, keep well, and look after each other.

Nigel Lambe, Chief Executive