BUSINESS leaders in the finance, legal and advisory sectors have shared their expertise and insights to inspire Welsh businesses to recover, rebuild and revitalise following the challenges of the last year.
Jon Lambird, Head of SME at Barclays UK; Jon Maycock, Commercial Director at Propel Finance Group; Paul Slevin, Director of Quantuma Corporate Advisory Firm and Simon Tee, Managing Partner at Kilsby Williams Chartered Accountants joined Chris Nott, founder and senior partner of Capital Law, for an engaging, reactive in-person debate.
Organised by leading business organisation Chambers Wales, the event was broadcast live from its Corporate Partner Capital Law’s offices in Cardiff on March 9.
The attitude and agility of businesses mitigating the impact of the pandemic were praised unanimously by the panel, the emphasis being on what businesses do next to recover from this intense period of survival and move the Welsh economy into a period of sustainable growth.
Simon Tee said: “I think there’s a lot of doom and gloom talked about but everyone I talk to is very positive, they all want to get going. The majority of our clients are in very good shape; I think it’s a testament to the ability of Welsh entrepreneurs and the stewardship they have shown throughout this period has been absolutely fantastic.”
Jon Lambird said: “Broadly, the support schemes have done a really good job. The challenge is that those schemes are coming to an end and it’s now about what the next scheme will do when it launches in April, how that enables businesses to grow and move forward. We’re hopefully through that phase of disruption and pause and heading into growth.”
The hour-long discussion explored how businesses could pivot from short term survival to long term recovery, highlighting funding and investment opportunities through traditional lending or asset management, as well as revitalising the supply chain through onshoring.
Jon Maycock said: “What we’re starting to see now is a huge increase in enquiry for businesses seeking to invest in capital equipment. I think that’s off the back of increased confidence with what we expect to happen with the pandemic.
“We’re trying to match up the right finance with the capital investment in the equipment, really understand that equipment and help your business.”
Paul Slevin said: “We’ve spent a lot of time analysing what survival is about. I think now we need to look forward and say what does recovery and getting back to a sustainable position, where businesses are more resilient, look like?
“We’ve had a real lesson on how to onshore in Wales during the last 12 months. We went from a country that imported its PPE for example, to a country that became self-sufficient and then to a country that became self-sufficient plus a gross exporter of PPE. The influence of the pandemic and end of the transition period has been a great opportunity for people to look in detail at their supply chain.”
Chambers Wales is the leading business membership organisation in Wales, bringing together the best industry expertise and resources from across Wales, and the world, to support Welsh businesses to recover, rebuild and revitalise in every sector.