We’ve created this dedicated page to contain all of our new, articles, and advice for our business customers (of all sizes) while not all of it is relevant to all of our customers we aim to regularly add new content relevant to customers not only in our local area of Swindon, Wiltshire but across the UK.
For the latest Government issued advice and recommendations please visit gov.uk/coronavirus.
If there’s something you’d like us to look at covering please email email@example.com with your suggestions.
At O’Brien Media the health and safety of our staff and customers is our top priority. We have team members who are at an increased risk of Covid infection and will be continuing to adhere to NHS Covid guidelines for their safety and yours after the 19th of July.
The prime minister has confirmed that from July 19th, the majority of current Coronavirus restrictions will be lifted. This blog post will go through what will change, why this is happening and some of the advice we have still be told to follow.
This blog post will talk about NHS Track and Trace from the point of employees and what they should do if they test positive, as well as the support that is available to them.
To ensure that we all remain safe, NHS Test and Trace (which we are probably used to by now!) will remain in use, even in the workplace. This blog post will talk you through how this will affect employers specifically.
Following another easing of the UK lockdown rules, many high street and department stores are set to reopen their doors on Monday 12th April. Our shopping sprees are set to look a little different in the Covid-era, however, and it’s likely you may have some questions about what shopping on the high street will look like next week.
As society begins to reopen and people return to work, it is important that we all get tested to help stop the spread of the virus.
On Wednesday 24th February, the government published their official guidance detailing the steps in which the UK will progress from this lockdown.
On the 8th February, the government announced new measures allowing for greater flexibility regarding the repayment of Bounce Back Loans.
As you guide your business through the lockdown, you can ease the effects while continuing to reach customers with the proper tools, including payment services by Square.
Do you want to contribute? A few weeks ago we asked our customers how they coped during 2020, with lockdowns, confusing guidelines, and tough trading conditions. Here are the stories of the three customers who have got in touch so far about their experiences, Vocavio, Coffee Plant, and Responsive Personnel.
Non-essential shops are currently closed as part of a national lockdown to combat coronavirus although they are currently allowed to open for click and collect.
Danny Kimber shares how he and his team at Responsive Personnel have coped throughout these testing and unprecedented times.
New Coronavirus (COVID‑19) support measures have been made available to employers and the self-employed, including sole traders and limited company directors, across the UK.
We are here for you throughout the UK’s 3rd lockdown and will work with you to ensure that your business can continue to trade, and thrive, under these difficult circumstances.
Conor Mckenna shares how they and Vocavio Technologies have coped throughout these testing and unprecedented times.
Swindon to enter Tier 4 restrictions as of 00:01 on the 31st December 2020. This means that non-essential retail must now close, there will be further restrictions on movement – with a “Stay at Home” rule in place unless there is a “reasonable excuse”. We’re here to help your business or organisation through this difficult time.
Ian Henshall shares how they, Coffee Plant, and Accountable Democracy UK have coped throughout these testing and unprecedented times.
If there’s anything the uncertainty of 2020 has taught us, though, it’s how difficult it is to plan. You’ve likely never experienced anything as challenging as the current climate.
As part of National Consumer Week and International Fraud Awareness Week, we want to remind our customers and readers of some of the issues of shopping online and what can be done to limit the risks.
Brands need to be ready to adopt a variety of in-store and online measures to cater to today’s shopper.
It’s up to all of us to play our part to avoid overwhelming the NHS. That means living by the restrictions in place and continuing to follow the rules.
I wanted to let you know that, as during the previous lockdown, we will be here to help you and your business, club, or other organisation through these difficult times.
It’s up to all of us to know what we must do to keep ourselves and others safe in the weeks and months ahead.
Today, the application process opened for something called the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The ERDF Recovery Grant (which we blogged about last week) is available to small and medium companies, with a value of between £1,000 and £3,000.
We strongly encourage all of our friends and clients to put themselves in the running for this ERDF-Funded Covid-19 Recovery Grants Scheme. The fund exists to help us come out of this difficult period, so please, read on, and find out the information to date on this scheme.
The government has released a list of rules and guidelines that shops and shoppers must follow to keep everyone safe when retail starts to reopen on the 1st and 15th June 2020.
It has been over two months since the government asked us all to stay at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. With restrictions beginning to ease, businesses up and down the country are trying to figure out how to start welcoming customers again while minimising risk to themselves or their patrons.
If you run a salon, shop or any business that requires feet through the door and staff on hand, it can be difficult to know what to do for the best – the government is telling people to avoid people, pubs and the office, but can you afford to shut up shop?
It seems at the moment the world is moving at lightspeed. The news every day is changing and, whilst some of the lockdown restrictions are being eased, we’re still very, very far from “normal”. I for one long for the days when Microsoft Teams was a bit of an irritation when I turned my computer on – here at O’Brien Media it’s now become central to the way we work together!
New funding of £617m is being made available to co-working space tenants, market traders and other businesses in England who aren’t being given funding through the coronavirus business rates grant scheme due to not being in full-time commercial properties.
A fifth of SMEs bank with fintechs such as Tide, ourselves included, which are significantly underrepresented with regards to the Government’s CBILS and the Bounce Back Loan schemes.
When your business has an irregular schedule, like holidays or special events, you can enter special hours in advance to let customers know when you’re open via the special opening hours option on Google My Business (and Google Maps).
Scams over the phone are nothing new, but, in the current climate, they are being adapted. Criminals are exploiting the need to keep ourselves safe and take protective measures during the COVID19 pandemic so are reinventing their scams to use Coronavirus as a hook.
GOV.UK have updated their website to include a section specifically aimed at supporting businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic
Current Government advice for trades, such as electricians, plumbers, maintenance workers, cleaners and other tradespeople carrying out work in people’s homes is that this is currently acceptable even during the lockdown, the advice, as of 10th April 2020 is as follows…
If you’re a regular user of Royal Mail’s fantastic Click & Drop service (that allows you to print postage at home, track your orders, and dispatch either at a postbox, post office, or at the newer parcel postboxes) you’ll be pleased to hear that the usual 2 working day postal window for getting your parcels from the point of printing the label to posting the item have been relaxed to seven days.
Businesses making temporary changes to their usual services can now prominently display those changes on their Facebook page, thanks to new features added this week by Facebook.
Did you know that you can avoid Post Office queues, and parcel collection costs, by using Parcel Postboxes, provided by Royal Mail, in various locations around Swindon – and across the UK.
To help business owners preserve their visibility in Google search, Google has published recommendations on how to properly limit your site’s functionality if you need to pause operations.
The Government documents, released following the Prime Ministers televised address of the evening of the 23rd March 2020 included the statement that “Online retail is still open and encouraged and postal and delivery service will run as normal.” this is of course great news for eCommerce retailers of all sizes, and a great deal of our customers, who are self-employed online retailers will be breathing a collective sigh of relief at seeing this.
Add a webcam to your desktop PC, or turn to your webcam-enabled laptop, and you have just about everything you need to keep in touch with friends, family and work colleagues from the comfort of your home – or from just about wherever you want.
Google is temporarily removing some features from Google My Business as a result of limitations caused by the COVID-19 situation. “During the unprecedented COVID-19 situation,
In times of uncertainty, Search Engine Optimisation – SEO – is one such area businesses should be reluctant to cut back on.
Welcome to our COVID-19 (Coronavirus) general information page. We have created this page as a sort of hub for information we’ve found on various websites
With the impact of Coronavirus being felt especially on small businesses, the self-employed, and freelancers, it’s more important than ever to ensure you bring in a steady stream of customers to your small business if you can operate remotely.
The current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, which began in December 2019, presents a significant challenge for the entire world. O’Brien Media is working rigorously to the guidelines provided by the Department of Health & Social Care to minimise the risk of infection.
With Coronavirus (COVID-19) now at the pandemic stage we’re implementing additional measures to ensure we can continue to serve our customers during the coming weeks and months.
We are taking steps to limit the risk of infection in our Swindon office and encouraging team members based outside of Swindon to do the same.
Our distributed team means that team members already work from fully equipped home-based offices with full access to our Midas customer management system and our website hosting platform.
All team members have access to Microsoft Teams and VoIP telephony powered by Cisco to ensure we are as ready as we can possibly be now that Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been declared a pandemic.
We have also taken the decision to limit meetings, both on-site and off. We will still be available via Skype, Microsoft Teams, and phone for meetings and project discussions and have telephone conferencing facilities available for multi-party calls.
We have taken this decision to protect the health and wellbeing of not only our team members but also our families, friends, and other customers.
Due to the current coronavirus situation, Royal Mail are no longer asking recipients to sign for items delivered on or after Saturday 14 March 2020. Royal Mail will capture the recipient’s name and confirmation of delivery.
We encourage you to be vigilant for the symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and to consult NHS 111 or www.gov.uk should you be concerned that you are displaying symptoms or are uncertain of the symptoms you should be looking out for.
The UK Government’s Chief Medical Advisor advised that even people with ‘minor signs’ of respiratory tract infections will be told to self-isolate. This change could happen in the next 10 to 14 days. This will have a significant impact on those reliable staff who would normally come into work, armed with paracetamol and ‘cracking on’ with their duties.
Public Health England (PHE) recommends that the following general cold and flu precautions are taken to help prevent people from catching and spreading COVID-19:
If you are worried about symptoms, please call NHS 111. Do not go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment.
Further information is available on the PHE blog and NHS.UK.