AC Lloyd Homes managing director Alistair Clark has seen many ups and downs in the business world but Covid-19 is testing every business to the limit.
This is by far the most severe national business crises we have experienced at AC Lloyd since I joined the business nearly 37 years ago and the Coronavirus outbreak will impact business like nothing since World War II.
During war-time, everyone pulled together and worked together and there was a spirit of togetherness as people were able to socialise.
But this situation means we need to stay at home and remain socially distant which is not easy since we naturally like to interact but we need to follow the guidelines and think about the greater good.
We also have massively enhanced communications which, perversely, mean that while we are socially distancing, we can talk and see relatives across the world and still hold business meetings with several people at the same time from our kitchen table.
Like every long-established business we have weathered downturns before at AC Lloyd, particularly from 2010-2012 during the economic recession when we needed to downsize the business significantly and reduce our workforce. Since that time the company has bloomed increasing turnover and profit year on year.
This is the first time we have had to close up all our development sites and Head Office, however, we still have a network of staff working from home keeping things ticking over until we are given the go ahead to return to work.
It means that as soon as we get the go ahead to resume business – whenever that may be – we will be in a position to re-start work on the housing developments we currently have under construction at Oakley Grove, Kingswood Place, Radford Semele and Victoria Point.
We are also looking after the freelance workers we use as well so that disruption will be kept to a minimum when life returns to normal because we believe in looking after everyone who works for us.
We’re trying to make sure that even though there might be a few months from the last normal working day to the next working day, there is no break in the level of service we provide.
I think that was one of the reasons we were voted the Business of the Year at the Leamington Business Awards last year because we are very much a community-focused business.
And we are also a community within the company and there is a clear determination among everyone at AC Lloyd to get through this crisis and also help every member of staff and every customer as much as we can.