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Comment: Businesses must put people first

Simon Berwin, owner of Simon Berwin Advisory, and former managing director of menswear supplier Berwin & Berwin, discusses the importance of supporting each other during the Covid-19 outbreak. 

Sometimes we are tested not to show our weaknesses but to discover our strengths. 

Allegedly I have been in the business over 40 years and I have always learnt there is always a tomorrow. Even during the miners strike when it was tough with short-time working, its was nothing like this. 

Business leaders must get off their high horses talking about margin, profit before tax, and investment and think about the majority, and yes, people. For example, when it snows some businesses recognise those that make an effort to come in and still support those who can’t make it. Greedy businesses and owners don’t pay those who don’t make it to the office or store. Beyond belief. 

There are some very successful business owners out there who could support their teams and ensure they still eat three times a day but instead focus on refuelling their boats and planes. 

Then there is the supplier -customer relationship. Somewhere between black and white is grey so we must remember common sense and compromise. We must work together as decent human beings to protect our families and colleagues. We must keep great relationships and ensure they are in tact when, inevitably, this is over. 

Don’t think about as we would do to others but think about as we would like others to do to us. When this is over we will all remember who was fair and who was greedy. Two of my wonderful ex-team members called me today- one who was treated like it was the 1970s and one who worked for an exciting leader who was very supportive. Every eighty years we are told there is a correction. The good guys will win and the [bad guys] will fail. 

Let’s remember people, communication, common sense, and most importantly great product in exciting stores. 

This will end because nothing is forever. There will be a bounce for retail, for travel and for entertainment. However, only those who took the time to think their offer through, how it is offered, and support their teams, will win. 

We are human beings and now is the time for friendship, compromise, and decency…..oh yes, and modern leadership and positivity. 



Readers' comments (2)

  • Very well written Mr Berwin and I do hope people heed your words.

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  • Mark Ashton

    Definitely a time in life where we are all better together, you’re right, good guys who do things right will rise.....Good Luck & Stay Safe Simon

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