PROSPER MAGAZINE: DIGITAL EDITION
BLACK COUNTRY BUSINESS HEROES
BLACK COUNTRY BUSINESS HEROES
In April we launched our search for Black Country Business Heroes, those people, places, products and companies going the extra mile to help with the Coronavirus crisis.
As the region and the country pulled together to help supply PPE for the NHS and care system, packed and distributed food and essentials for the most vulnerable, and worked together to try and make lives better for the many people struggling and suffering from the crisis, here at the Black Country Chamber we heard, and shared, some of the most amazing, touching and heroic stories from Black Country businesses.
As we enter the next phase and move forward to rebuild the economy, with employers looking ahead and employees returning to their offices, factory floors and retail premises, we still want to hear from you.
We are seeing lots of companies, people and brands doing amazing things.
Pivoting, diversifying, taking tough decisions, expanding, learning new skills, developing new initiatives.
We want to hear your stories – tell us how your business has survived, how you are returning to work, tell us about the unique leaders - your unsung business heroes that have kept the wheels turning on the business and how they are rebuilding and bouncing back.
We want to continue to celebrate the contribution these people and organisations make to the wellbeing of the Black Country economy.
Get in touch and tell us about your Black Country Heroes - email us at
Platinum Chamber member Lord Combustion Services have continued to work throughout the Covid-19 crisis and subsequent lockdown providing essential services to customers.
Identified as key workers, and undertaking essential works relating to gas safety and utilities, which has helped to maintain cleanliness and reduce the risk of infection, Lord Combustion teams, working from their Oldbury based headquarters, have worked in medical facilities, care homes, sheltered housing complexes and schools to ensure gas appliances have continued to work at full capacity and safely throughout the pandemic.
Reacting to emergency breakdowns and ensuring that their 24-hour emergency call-out service remained in operation, the team of highly skilled maintenance engineers has kept many essential medical, school and care home buildings safe and comfortable.
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Assa Abbloy, a member of the Chamber Platinum Group, has worked throughout the coronavirus pandemic with their Health and Safety Teams making constant adjustments to its many sites helping to ensure every colleague has a safe working environment to return to.
Meanwhile the ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland teams have worked throughout the crisis to support critical infrastructure and many NHS projects.
Rubery Owen the family-owned business, established over 130 years ago in Darlaston and now operating a group of seven companies in a diverse range of markets, has played its part in the recent Coronavirus crisis.
Merlin Powder Characterisation has been working proudly with the pharmaceutical sector, delivering a unique service offering compression science on-demand, giving access to extensive materials science and compression knowledge.
The Rotronics team has been working tirelessly with commercial fleets such as the RAC, AA, Royal Mail, haulage and transport operators to provide battery management and maintenance support during the Covid-19 crisis, to ensure that vehicles remain on the road during the pandemic.
Rotech introduced adjusted early and late shifts, to enable the business to keep operating for their customers supplying major power generation companies. Everyone in the supply chain was requested to remain open so that they could continue generating power for the country.
Rozone has been supplying sanitisers, antibacterial products, a selection of PPE and cleaning equipment to every industry sector during the lockdown, including the Police, schools, retail environments, workshops, offices and care homes.
ROH as a landlord has provided support to tenants during the pandemic, helping to ease their cash flow concerns.
Chamber Patron member HomeServe has introduced a number of fantastic initiatives to support our People, Customers and the wider community throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
To help take away the stress of an unexpected home emergency and to support frontline workers, they have committed to providing free emergency home repairs to all NHS and Social Care workers – pledging £1m to cover the cost.
They have also wanted to provide peace of mind for their People during these challenging times and so promised to not make any redundancies or furlough staff.
To continue serving customers needing emergency repairs, more than 100 engineers volunteered to be fitted for high-level PPE with some even valiantly shaving off their beards, to allow them to safely enter Customer’s homes. HomeServe engineers have gone above and beyond, helping to deliver food and medicines for customers who can’t leave their homes, and often driving hours to fix emergencies.
Additionally, one of their team has trained as a first responder, a member of the company’s health team is doing shifts in A&E, and another employee is making thousands of face masks from home using a 3D printer. HomeServe CEO Richard Harpin also made a personal donation of £60,000 to support West Midlands-based homeless charities.
During a crisis like COVID-19, a local authority should of course rally around its residents.
From early on, Sandwell Council did just that.
Establishing a food distribution hub in a local leisure centre, redeploying council employees, enlisting the support of over 80 staff, wholesalers and food businesses, the teams sprang into action to help thousands.
With thanks to local taxi firms, the Albion Foundation and West Midlands Fire Service, the hub delivered over 10,000 food parcels to vulnerable households and has been at the forefront of discussions on best practice in the region.
Meanwhile focusing more resources into adult social care, homelessness support and safeguarding children and young people – including homing rough sleepers, the council contacted over 11,000 people aged over 75 currently listed on the government’s shielding list or known to Adult Social Care whilst other council teams continued to work throughout with local businesses to distribute PPE to frontline services.
Councillor Yvonne Davies said: “The way the people and businesses of Sandwell, both our staff and our communities, are pulling together is an absolute revelation.
“We have remarkable people here whose first thought is how they can help others.
“I really shouldn’t still be surprised by them - but sometimes people can just amaze you.”