Speaking at the BPIF’s weekly lunchtime webinar series, Jarrold said that after stage one (lockdown) and stage two (getting used to life under lockdown), the situation had now reached the next phase.
“We’re now in stage three which is a lifting of lockdown, and heading towards stage four which is that much longer-term recovery,” he said.
The BPIF has six regional boards and a round of regional board meetings has recently taken place, including participation from the government through BEIS as well as some local business authorities.
“The main thing that came back was there had been a massive decrease in activity levels. We’ve fed back detailed information back into government to make the point that demand isn’t going to bounce back really quickly,” Jarrold stated.
“The picture that emerged was that unfortunately that commercial print has been affected significantly. It is coming back and there has been a really significant increase in demand and activity levels, but people are still operating significantly below full capacity.”
The BPIF’s industry survey during lockdown found that three-quarters of respondents had seen demand fall by 65%. There are also concerns about how long it will take for the economy to recover, detailed in its latest survey.
“We can expect that demand isn’t going to come back for quite some time yet and I think that has implications for how businesses operate,” Jarrold added.
As part of the reopening and recovery process the BPIF recently produced an eight-step ‘Covid-Secure’ roadmap. At the end of the process firms can produce a certificate explaining the status to staff, visitors, customers and other stakeholders.
“The Covid-Secure certification is a really strong signal, not just internally to staff that we are taking these things seriously and you are operating in a safe environment, and as we go back to some sense of visitors on-site or going to see other organisations, it’s a really important signal in that process,” he said.
The webinar covered the topic of building sales pipelines. The topic for the next session, on 9 July, is ‘Culture as a Thing – how do you define your current culture and how do you seek to change it?’.