STEP

COVID-19 | Update from STEP

26th May 2020

An update from STEP,

To all of our tenants, clients, staff and partner organisations,

It has now been two months that many of us have been working from home, but good news, there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

Working with Stirling Council we are continuing to provide you with the latest support information. You can keep up to date with this information on the Stirling COVID-19 Business Support website http://www.investinstirling.com/investor-support/corona-virus-advice/.

In line with the Government’s route map, more and more of our tenants are deciding to ‘reopen’ in some form, whilst physically distancing, and others are finding new ways to keep trading. We would recommend everyone keeps buying what they need locally and are continuing to update this list of those businesses who are open during the crisis. https://stepscotland.co.uk/step/stirling-business-news/covid-19-still-open-for-business/.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been working hard to develop a plan of what our new ‘normal’ will be and how we can responsibly welcome back our team and customers moving forward.

In everything we do we have our team and customers in mind, so we want to share some of the detail with you.

Safe Working Environments

We are rolling out a protocol for staff returning to work and our managers will be holding virtual pre return meetings with every one of their team to discuss any new working arrangements. With mental and physical health at the forefront of decision making, not all staff will be returning to work, managers will be looking at what is best for the individual’s health and family life; we will be as flexible as we need to be.  

Physical Distancing

We have taken the principles of social distancing and adapted them for all our locations. This includes how people enter, exit, and move around our centres, with clear information and signage in place to ensure minimal person-to-person contact.

The property team have a detailed protocol but here are some of the key highlights:

Reception Area: Our reception desks are being fitted with protective screens, a 2m exclusion area clearly marked and any waiting furniture will be moved to allow for safe distancing. 

Shared Office Space: We are removing our Hot Desk area and Co Working dedicated desks are being moved to ensure distancing. 

Deliveries: We will work with our parcel partners to achieve contact-free deliveries where possible and we are relocating our larger parcels to avoid unnecessary access to our postage and printing centre.

Kitchens and Toilets: We are asking users to keep a safe distance from others and to use the facilities with respect for others and one-at-a-time wherever possible. All toilet facilities will have hand-dryers and/or paper towel dispensers. We have removed any shared cutlery/crockery and any items left in kitchens will be removed and disposed of on a daily basis.

Technology Space: Our technology space remains closed to any new members and demonstrations. Current members will be able to use the space on an individual basis.

Frequent Cleaning
We have increased the frequency of cleaning during the day, focusing on high touchpoint areas, sanitisers will also be available across our buildings.

Viewings and Tours
All property viewings will be arranged to meet distancing regulations and avoid unnecessary contact; we can also provide live virtual tours where requested.

Meetings and Venue Hire
All client and internal meetings normally held face to face will be done using our video conference software, via the phone or in a meeting room which meets distancing measures.

In order to make sure that customers can return to use our meeting rooms safely, we have rearranged rooms to meet distancing measures. We have also increased our video conference facilities as an alternative to having everyone physically attend meetings. Shared stationary has been removed but can be made available if requested.

We will continue to run our face to face workshops as online webinars. You can find out more at https://www.bgateway.com/local-offices/stirling/events.

COVID contact tracing and reporting

Our objective is that there will be zero instances of direct contact within our buildings. Where possible we will keep a contact log to assist authorities should an outbreak occur. This may be using sign-in sheets, visitor logbooks, delivery personnel details and third-party service provider visitor information. This information will be stored securely, maintained centrally and readily available upon request. Such information may be requested by the authorities to assist with contact tracing.

If an employee or tenant who has tested positive has spent time in a communal area, used the toilet or bathroom facilities, these areas will be closed immediately and fully cleaned before being re-opened. All waste that has been in contact with the individual, will be placed in a waste bag and double bagged. The waste bag will be kept for 72 hours, then thrown into the normal waste. 

If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions please get in touch with us on step@stepscotland.co.uk.

We will continue to update you via our website, social media channels and via e-mail. 

Thank you and stay safe,

The STEP management team. 

28th April 2020

An update from STEP,

To all of our tenants, clients, staff and partner organisations,

It’s now been just over a month that we’ve been working from home, naturally, we miss you all, and what a month it’s been!

Between our Business Gateway, Property and HR teams we have helped with more than 300 calls and e-mails from businesses, sometimes in tears, sometimes humbling us with their goodwill but always seeking support in these challenging times. In the midst of this, we are extremely proud of how our teams have adapted to meet this challenge and their continued hard work to ensure as many Stirling businesses as possible get the support they need to get through this.

£14 million of Government funding has now been issued to over 10,000 businesses across Stirling and this is increasing daily. We are also working hard with other local support companies to keep a single source of information up to date with the latest information as it is announced. You can keep up to date with this information on the Stirling COVID-19 Business Support website http://www.investinstirling.com/investor-support/corona-virus-advice/.

Some of our face to face workshops have been adapted to webinars in order to continue to support businesses during the lockdown. You can find out more at https://www.bgateway.com/local-offices/stirling/events.

All of our tenants still have 24/7 access to their space and many are finding new innovative ways to keep trading whilst socially distancing. We would recommend everyone keeps buying what they need locally and have created this resource to list those businesses who are open during the crisis. https://stepscotland.co.uk/step/stirling-business-news/covid-19-still-open-for-business/.

In line with Government, we are beginning to look beyond lockdown at what a new ‘normal’ will look like for us, our team, our customers and our services moving forward but in the meantime, we are continuing to support our health heroes by staying home.

If you have questions around support you can access or if you just want a friendly listening ear to discuss your business, please contact the Stirling Business Support Hotline on 01786 498 496.

We will continue to update you via our website, social media channels and via e-mail. 

Thank you and stay safe,

The STEP management team. 

24th March 2020

An update from STEP,

To all of our tenants, clients, staff and partner organisations,

We are incredibly grateful for our brilliant staff who have been working hard to continue to keep our business parks open as long as we can in these difficult circumstances.  

However, over the last 24 hours, it has become clear that we must make the difficult decision to close our locations as of 5 pm, 24th March. 

We have not made this decision lightly and know how important our services are to our tenants and the local business community. But as a team we have been clear throughout this pandemic that we would only continue to operate with a skeleton staff until an official Government decision was clear, we feel now is that time and have therefore made the decision to temporarily remove our physical presence at our locations. 

Some of the STEP and Business Gateway Stirling team will be working from home, so here’s what you can expect from them:

  • The same level of communication and support, just from a safer place.
  • All client meetings normally held face to face will be done using our high-quality video conference software, or via the phone so no need to travel to us.
  • All teams will be fully equipped with the latest business support information to help sustain and future proof your business. 
  • All workshops and events will be postponed from now until the end of May, this will be reviewed regularly and an online webinar and tutorial service will be available from the bgateway.com website.

We want to say thanks to all of our team. We are genuinely proud of them for adapting so quickly to different work environments and taking things as they come. They have made our job easier in so many ways. 

We have also been truly humbled by our amazing tenants in these truly trying times. All of our tenants will still have 24/7 access to their space and many are finding new innovative ways to keep trading. We would recommend everyone buys locally to keep these wonderful businesses going. Our property team will be keeping in regular contact with all of our tenants as both business support advisors, helping where they can and as a landlord, about the logistics of closing our locations. 

In light of the massive impact, COVID-19 is having on businesses, STEP and Business Gateway Stirling have joined forces with Stirling Council and other local partners to form a strategic COVID-19 response group to streamline support and create a one-point contact for businesses. 

You can find out about this support in more detail on the Stirling COVID-19 Business Support website http://www.investinstirling.com/investor-support/corona-virus-advice/

Lastly but by no means least, we would like to thank all of you key workers out there from front line NHS and emergency service staff, to delivery drivers, customer assistants, communication teams and everyone in between. 

There are so many unsung heroes working tirelessly to save lives, reduce the spread of the virus and keep what sense of normality we can. We owe you so much. 

We will continue to update you via our website, social media channels and via e-mail. 

Thank you and stay safe,

The STEP management team. 

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