Bristol, like the rest of the country, has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite this, many businesses have not only survived, but have been shining stars and thrived by demonstrating resilience, adaptability and leadership.
This Christmas, we want to shine a light on some of those businesses and organisations. So, for the first 12 working days of December, we’ll be highlighting a business a day that has really stood out to our agency.
If you want to follow our series of seasonal shout outs, we’ll be updating this blog daily, and posting on Twitter. Without further ado, these are AMBITOUS’ local shining stars…
Day 1 – Bristol Creative Industries
Who better to kickstart our Christmas list than Bristol Creative Industries (formerly Bristol Media)?
In the early days of lockdown, BCI set up the ‘Pay it Forward’ campaign, whereby they collated a list of businesses that wanted to help others by giving their time and expertise to provide mentoring and business support. From HR and legal support, to marketing advice and financial tools, the Bristol creative community pulled through!
Day 2 – Bradfords Building Supplies
There was confusion for the construction sector when the initial lockdown measures were first enforced. It took a while to receive clarity from the government on what was expected from them in this crisis.
However, David Young, Bradfords CEO, knew that as a vital part of the construction supply chain, merchants needed to stay open to support tradespeople undertaking essential work and thus made the decision to remain operational. When lockdown was announced, the company pivoted their business plans overnight, and became a collection and delivery business letting the industry know ‘We’ve Got Your Back’.
Day 3 – SMW ONE
Early in the year, many conferences and events were being postponed or cancelled, including the highly anticipated Social Media Week New York and Social Media Week Los Angeles. The organisers of the events quickly decided to merge the two and create #SMWONE, a four-week virtual conference. This meant that the doors of the event were opened to the globe.
Taking place in May, the conference featured over 170 hours of live streamed sessions, 270 speakers, and more than 10,000 registered participants. While we know that online events are a temporary fix because we can’t be together, we can appreciate that going virtual makes it easy for businesses to hear from top speakers without the need to travel.
Day 4 – Yuup
If you follow us, you would have heard of Yuup.
Yuup is a new online marketplace where you can book and gift experiences in Bristol. Developed in lockdown and fuelled out of a desire to support people and businesses, it’s aim is to help them connect with their local community, find new customers and unlock new sustainable revenue streams.
Since their launch in September this year, there are over 130 active experiences on the site, proving that Bristol’s entrepreneurial spirit perseveres!
Day 5 – Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation are truly the backbone of the small business community in Bristol. Their ‘Coronavirus Small Business Support Hub’ helps start-ups and small businesses across every sector stay updated on government small business funding and connects businesses with people and resources to keep trading through the pandemic.
We’ve especially appreciated their daily Lunch and Learn webinars, which are only 30 mins long and free!
Day 6 – Xledger
At a time when many businesses have withdrawn their commercial agreements with sporting organisations around the UK, Xledger has remained invested in supporting the role of Bristol Sport in the community.
Not only is the cloud-based finance software provider continuing to sponsor the Ashton Gate Stadium South Stand for a second year, Xledger has also added new agreements with the Bristol Flyers and Bears Academy as part of its sponsorship.
With a great level of admiration for Bristol Sport’s approach to uniting the city through sporting achievement, as part of the relationship Xledger will be sponsoring youngsters from 13 years upwards through the Bristol Bears Academy programme.
Day 7 – Bristol Together
Bristol Together is a city-wide marketing campaign with the goal of supporting local businesses as they safely reopen. The campaign is led by Bristol City Centre BID alongside Visit Bristol, Business West and Broadmead BID, in partnership with the One City Economy Board and Bristol City Council.
You might have seen some of their initiatives without realising it. Back in July, hundreds of hearts were painted on Queen Square, spaced two metres apart, to encourage people to visit the city and support businesses while staying safe.
Day 8 – Shonette Laffy
Quite the local celeb, Shonette is a Bristol foodie blogger that has been on a one-woman mission to share news, links and offers from Bristol’s independent restaurants during lockdown. If you are making an effort to support local over the festive season, check out Shonette’s channels – her recommendations NEVER disappoint!
Day 9 – EVO Business Networking
EVO Networking is a business that has pivoted and thrived during the pandemic. While networking over canapés at Harvey Nichols has its charm, meeting with members weekly over zoom to talk business challenges, wellbeing and growth has been invaluable in 2020. Knowing you have a coffee morning set aside to catch up with like-minded people has become a welcome break in the weekly schedule, that we hope will continue into next year.
Thanks to Jamie Breese and team for organising the virtual meet-ups, it wouldn’t be the same without your dedication!
Day 10 – Band of Builders
Band of Builders is a charity organisation run by tradespeople, for tradespeople, with the aim of helping members of the industry when times get tough. As well as selling branded workwear to help raise money for their cause, they unite people in the best possible way by bringing together volunteers for various projects in local communities.
So if you have a tradesperson to buy for this Christmas, we recommend checking out some of their merch!
Day 11 – The Refutree Initiative
The Refutree Initiative is just what you think it is, buy a Christmas tree, help a refugee. Ran by charity, Aid Box Community, 100% of all profits go towards providing support, supplies & sanctuary to displaced people seeking safety in Bristol. And isn’t giving what Christmas is all about?
Day 12 – WECA
Our last merry mention goes to WECA. The West of England Combined Authority has been committed to supporting the region’s residents and businesses through Covid-19 from the very beginning. Through their various support programmes, they are enabling businesses in the West of England to adapt to the new economic landscape and improve resilience, as well as supporting residents in developing new skills, training and employment opportunities.