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The Latest news from Dumfries and Galloway Chamber of Commerce -

Keep up to date with the latest news and stories from across Dumfries & Galloway.

 

Skills matching service to help rural business

A new service is being launched to match rural businesses with potential employees and volunteers during the response to coronavirus (COVID-19).
 
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The Skills Matching Service (SMS) will ensure that key businesses, such as farms, crofts and organisations which need help to continue to meet their animal welfare obligations, are able to find workers with relevant skills and experience.
 
It has been set up by Lantra Scotland, a charity funded by the Scottish Government which works to increase the number and diversity of employees in the land-based, aquaculture and environmental conservation sector, and drive their skills development.

 

Care home manager praises SOS specialists for donating ‘lifesaving equipment’

A CARE home is being helped to keep its residents and staff safe in the fight against coronavirus thanks to a generous donation of sanitiser and visors from rapid response specialists.

Dryfemount Care Home in Lockerbie, which has 29 residents and 45 staff, was struggling to get hold of the sanitiser it needed to keep residents and staff safe.

But local company ECO, which has bases in Annan and Cumbria, came to the rescue and donated and delivered five-litres of its specialist anti-virus sanitiser and eight reusable visors.

John Whitehouse, deputy manager at Dryfemount Care Home, is full of praise for the way ECO has come to the aid of its residents and staff in their hour of need.

 

John said: “This is life-saving equipment to us. It allows us to keep our residents and staff safe. It is an extremely generous gesture and we are very grateful.

“We were really struggling to source any hand sanitiser. Everyone we contacted said there was none available because it was all going to the NHS.

“Then we heard that ECO had a secure supply of sanitiser and we got in touch and asked for a price list.

“Before we got a price list back a message came back via ECO’s boss to say they would donate some to us and that they could also sort us out with visors as well.”

John said: “In our time of need, with all that’s going on in the world, it’s gestures like this which make you feel like everything is worthwhile.

“The sanitiser and visors are exactly what we need to keep everyone safe. They are invaluable to us.

“Obviously with our staff needing to give personal care to residents we can’t keep to the two-metre rule all the time. So the visors allow our staff to carry out their work safely.

“I must say all our staff have been brilliant throughout this. They are doing amazing work. I can’t thank them enough.”

ECO, a company with a reputation for ‘getting stuff done’, has set up a full COVID-19 rapid response solutions operation.

It has already answered the call to help a factory, which has a government order for manufacturing vital material for visors for the NHS, to continue production 24/7 by supplying anti-virus sanitiser and an on-call emergency sanitising team.

ECO’s experience and equipment means it can even set up field hospitals and other emergency structures with its rapid response building team, and has large volumes of medically-approved beds to help cater for an upsurge in COVID-19 patients.

The company is also rolling out rapid response testing solutions which include rapidly deployable virus containment and testing pods. 

Eddie Black, managing director of ECO, said: “When we heard this care home was struggling to source sanitiser we were only too happy to help.

“We have a secure supply of sanitiser and we have sourced visors as well so we were happy to give them what they needed.

“Care home staff all over the country - just like the NHS and other emergency workers - are doing an incredible job, and we wanted to make a gesture to show how much we appreciate it.

“Like any business, we have also had to adjust. We have used our skills to put together a comprehensive package of emergency rapid response solutions in the fight against COVID-19.

“Whether it’s a secure ongoing supply of significant volumes of sanitiser and specialist testing pods, all the way through to supplying and fitting out emergency buildings, with a full-range of medically-approved beds, we will do whatever needs to be done to help the medical sector fight this outbreak, and also to help keep essential business operations up and running.

“If anyone needs our expertise, we will get our teams onto it immediately to achieve what needs to be done.”

Any organisation or business which would benefit from ECO’s help is asked to contact 01461 500 206 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.teameco.co.uk for more information.

ECO COVID-19 emergency rapid response solutions

DGChamber member ECO, a solutions company with a track record of coming to the rescue of major organisations at a time of crisis is at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19.

ECO, which already supplies one NHS trust, is answering the call to help any organisation in the health sector or any essential business combat the coronavirus outbreak.

 

The company with a reputation for ‘getting stuff done’, has set up a full COVID-19 rapid response solutions operation with a range of emergency buildings, beds, and sanitisation solutions.

It has already answered the call to help a factory, which has a government order for manufacturing vital material for visors for the NHS, to continue production 24/7 by supplying anti-virus sanitiser and an on-call emergency sanitising team.

ECO’s experience and equipment means it can even set up field hospitals and other emergency structures with its rapid response building team, and has large volumes of medically-approved beds to help cater for an upsurge in patients.

Prefabricated buildings, inflatable buildings, shelters, can all be provided at pace and its additional rapid response interior solutions operation means those buildings can also be fitted out with a wide range of medically-approved beds and the most hygienic materials available.

The company is also rolling out rapid response testing solutions which include rapidly deployable virus containment and testing pods, which manage the flow of testing for coronavirus at entrances to hospitals, surgeries and other essential buildings such as emergency services centres, factories, and those offices and outlets where essential workers are based. 

ECO is this week donating a consignment of visors and some of its secure supply of anti-virus hand-sanitiser to a care home which was struggling to source sanitiser for its residents and staff.

 

The alcohol free anti-virus hand and surface sanitiser is a complex polymeric biocide in an aqueous solution providing ongoing protection to treated hands and surfaces.

The product is ready to use for disinfection and sanitisation of surfaces, providing up to 99.9% efficacy against pathogenic organisms.

Eddie Black, managing director of ECO, said: “The Government has requested companies like ours to come up with rapid solutions at this time of national emergency.

“That is exactly what we have done. We have responded rapidly as a team and as a business to put our skills towards helping others.

“We are committed to helping the Government tackle the coronavirus outbreak to the best of our abilities.

“We are focusing our efforts on providing this comprehensive package of emergency rapid response solutions in the fight against COVID-19.

“We have used our skills and experience to put together the most comprehensive package of solutions we could imagine - from a secure ongoing supply of significant volumes of sanitiser and specialist testing pods, all the way through to supplying and fitting out emergency buildings, including with a full-range of medically-approved beds.

“We will do whatever needs to be done to help the medical sector fight this outbreak, and also to help keep essential business operations up and running.

“We can help set up emergency buildings. We can prepare land and put up long-term, easily dismantlable buildings which are one of the fastest, most flexible options, for a range of uses, at this time of national emergency.

“These types of buildings can be easily erected and put to good use for a range of operations including medical centres, power hubs, offices, storage and, sad to say, even morgues.

“We could also convert or sanitise any building whether that’s hotels, conference centres, leisure centres, schools and colleges, disused buildings and spaces, in the fastest, most effective, way possible.

“So far during the outbreak we have been helping essential businesses and private care homes to get the help they need to keep operating around the clock, and we are looking at helping GP surgeries.

“But even though we do work for the NHS in one area of the country - and even though the Government is crying out for companies like ours to help - it’s not always easy to reach the people who make the procurement decisions within the NHS and make them aware that we are here and we can help.” 

ECO has a track record of rapid response. At the height of the devastating floods which hit the UK in December 2015 it helped get a major food industry business back on its feet.

Eddie said: “We know how to get this stuff done. If anyone needs our expertise, we will get our teams onto it immediately to achieve what needs to be done.”

ECO, which has its headquarters in Annan and has operations in Cumbria, is also known for its expertise in a range of dry ice cleaning and hygiene solutions which can help hospitals, care homes, emergency workers’ accommodation and transport operations, such as ambulances, keep clean during the coronavirus outbreak.

The company already supplies one of the UK’s largest hospital trusts - Leeds General Infirmary, part of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust - and last month delivered a consignment of specially-treated antibacterial furniture to the hospital.

ECO is also building its own new headquarters at Annan for its 80 staff. Eddie said: “We know how to do this stuff - and quickly.

“We will do everything we can to help anyone who gets in touch - whether from organisations or businesses - to help fight the effects of this outbreak.”

Any organisation or business which would benefit from ECO’s help is asked to contact 01461 500 206 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.teameco.co.uk for more information.

HOW COULD ECO’S VIRUS TESTING PODS BE DEPLOYED?

ECO managing director Eddie Black explained how the company’s virus testing pods could be used across society to ensure those with coronavirus are tracked more effectively both during the lockdown and afterwards, once office buildings and events are back open again.

Eddie said: “The public or staff need to be protected and tested before entering a hospital, government facility, emergency services hub, essential factory or office building, and ultimately, when the lockdown is lifted, perhaps a festival, public event, or sporting venue.

“The public would enter the compound and if suspected of symptoms (or everyone), they would be taken to the testing pod to be tested. If the results are found to be negative, they would then be allowed to continue into the building/venue.

“If the person is found to test positive, they would then be moved to an isolation pod and not allowed entry. The testing pod and compound would then be temporarily closed, fumigated, cleaned and reopened rapidly, thus protecting all those people next to pass through the compound.”

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - Here With You

Dumfries & Galloway Standard have launched their #ThereWithYou Initiative to offer Businesses marketing and avertising support now, throughout and beyond this unprecedented time and looking positively to the future.

 

The #ThereWithYou Initiative offers a suite of exclusive offers on solutions to take advantage of up until the end of May.

 

See the source image

Kathleen Riley, from the Standard said "Now, more than ever, The Dumfries & Galloway Standard and The Galloway News can be a powerful force for good in helping local businesses through the difficult times ahead. I'd encourage any business to get in touch with me and the team and we'll help however we can".

 

The #ThereWithYou Initiative information pack can be downloaded using the link below and you can call Kathleen on 01387 240322 or 07796 937615

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE INFORMATION PACK

Businesses warned of threats to vacant premises

EMPTY workplaces across Scotland are being seen as potential easy targets for thieves and vandals looking to commit crime.

The warning comes following a spate of attacks on premises across the country, suggesting criminals are keen to exploit the current COVID-19 lockdown which is leaving most commercial premises empty for extended periods - and a lack of potential witnesses on the streets.

Experts across policing, fire and rescue and the security sector are coming together to help advise businesses of the risks and dangers, via an upcoming free webinar as part of a timely series launched by the Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC) at the outset of the COVID-19 response.

 

David MacCrimmon

David MacCrimmon is seconded to SBRC from Police Scotland, as its lead for serious and organised crime and counter terrorism and will be available to speak with concerned business owners and keyholders at the session, which takes place on Thursday 16 April at 10am.

He said: “With most of us stranded in our homes, the clear and obvious place that burglars, arsonists and vandals will sadly be looking to will be our empty offices, clubs, bars and shops.

“This could range from a one-off break in to steal alcohol from a bar, to an organised effort to steal valuable assets.

“But businesses can limit their exposure to the risk – and there are reasonable steps they can still be taking to protect their premises while sticking to lockdown advice. This webinar will give us a chance to fully explain some of those options and for those that sign up to ask questions.”

Like previous webinars in the series, Thursday's will see SBRC draw on its widespread expertise alongside leading industry names, to provide guidance to business owners concerned about the wide-ranging implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of its advice, the upcoming session will cover tips on what to remove from the premises, what to leave in windows, as well as how and when to safely visit.

Gary Wood, a Watch Commander with Scottish Fire and Rescue Service seconded to SBRC, will also lead a discussion on fire and safety risks – with simple tips that can be followed.

He said: “With many businesses temporarily closed due to the current Government restrictions on Covid-19, premises may now be unoccupied.

“Fire does not discriminate and can strike at any time including periods of unprecedented situations such as the global pandemic we currently face. But with a number of straightforward steps, it is possible to appropriately manage fire risk within your temporarily vacant premises.

“The watchwords are ‘Protect the building – Protect the business’. There can be a link between fire risk and criminality in terms of the risk of wilful fire raising.

“This webinar will focus on practical guidance and advice that business owners and managers can use to mitigate those fire risks”

Further expertise will be provided by Ronnie Megaughin, Regional Manager for Scotland and Northern Ireland with the Security Industry Authority and Allan Burnett QPM, Operations Director with SecuriGroup.

During its first week, the SBRC provided advice to more than 600 business people across areas from cyber security to the legal implications of COVID-19. So far the dedicated webinars have been viewed by more than 1250 individuals.

To register for the session on vacant properties, please register here: https://bit.ly/3efzHkJ