The challenges to Bedford’s businesses during the coronavirus lockdown cannot be underestimated.
However, firms across Bedford Borough are stepping up in a variety of ways in support of the local and national effort to tackle the virus, protect the NHS and keep people safe.
From local initiatives to provide everyday support to NHS and other key workers, to hi-tech development of COVID-19 testing kits for the national government, Bedford Borough businesses are making a huge contribution at this challenging time for all.
Examples of the ongoing efforts include:
- Thurleigh-based Mologic is developing a point-of-need diagnostic test for COVID-19 for the UK government
- FujiFilm, whose UK headquarters are in Bedford’s St. Martins Business Park, has built and delivered home reporting stations for consultant radiologists and installed radiography equipment in hospitals
- Background screening company Verifile is waiving its admin fees for a possible 500,000 DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks to support the emergency recruitment of health and social care employees and volunteers
- Interfoam of Woburn Road Industrial Estate in Kempston is now solely producing healthcare products, including moulded face and body support pillows which are feeding into the NHS supply chain
- The Council’s work in supporting the vulnerable has been assisted by businesses such as wholesalers A1 Foods and Bookers and schools meals supplier Caterlink sourcing food, and United Paper Products donating toilet paper products, for inclusion in emergency packs
- Local businesses are helping keep key workers on the road to and from work, such as bike shop FlammeRouge’s offer of a free adjustment service and free collection/delivery for NHS and key workers
- Bedford Borough’s food businesses and takeaways are complying with the COVID-19 legislation while providing takeaway and food deliveries, with offers for NHS and key workers such as a third off collections at Thali & Tandoor in Bedford (subject to stock)
- Pure Business Law are launching a COVID 19 – Guidance and Support Hub for local businesses as a response to the uncertainty they face during these difficult times, helping SMEs to quickly understand the importance of over 150+ legal documents.Pure Business Law will donate 10% of its fees from each new case taken on by the firm as part of this programme to the charity Inspiring Girls for the next three months
Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “Despite facing huge challenges themselves, local firms are using their expertise, skills and resources to help fight the virus and protect our NHS.
“That should make us all proud, and I want to say a huge thanks to all Bedford Borough businesses for their efforts at this difficult time.”
If you know of a local business which is going above and beyond in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, please let the Council know via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Government support grants are available to small business ratepayers and retail, leisure or hospitality business ratepayers, subject to eligibility.
For more information on the grant scheme and other coronavirus guidance for business visit http://www.bedford.gov.uk/covid19business