What we see depends mainly on what we look for

John Lubbock

At 4theRegion our eyes are open. We see the impact of the Coronavirus on our day to day lives, here in South West Wales and in all corners of the world. But that’s not all we see.

This crisis is real but it will pass. It’s our good fortune to be at the heart of a resilient, resourceful community that’s already planning ahead.

Yesterday we met with friends and partners from the business community to discuss the future of the region we all love and believe in. It’s a sign of our new reality that the meeting was held online, and it’s a sign of our adaptability that we enjoyed a thoroughly productive session. The discussion was focused on a series of simple, pertinent questions;

What can we learn from our past accomplishments that will sustain us now?

When we emerge from this difficult period – and we will – what lessons can we carry with us?

It quickly became clear that Swansea’s entrepreneurs have a track record of staying strong in challenging times, and are ready to be strong for those around them.

  • Necessity is the mother of invention. Where social distancing makes traditional shopping trips impractical, let’s help more of our SME retailers trade online.
  • In difficult moments it’s easy to forget our purpose and lose our identity. Let’s remember who we are and what we set out to achieve.
  • Even the strongest people have moments of doubt. We need to support each other this year because any one of us could have a wobble at any time.
  • There’s no value in wishing it was yesterday, pining for busy city centres with thriving pubs and restaurants. We are where we are, and we need to deal with it.
  • We can’t solve all of our problems today, and we don’t have to. What we can change, we’ll change for the better. What we can’t change, we’ll live with.

And what lessons can we learn for the future?

  • Let’s upskill our people and our businesses for the 2020s
  • Let’s emerge from this crisis with a better understanding of what’s truly important, with new confidence in our skills and a new resilience
  • Let’s remember how much we owe to the NHS, to the selfless professionals working around the clock to provide care and comfort
  • Let’s be good neighbours

In the meantime, your local institutions are here for you:

Business Wales is ready to support employers at this challenging time:

The Wales Cooperative Centre is an excellent source of information and support

Social Business Wales is focused on helping social businesses cope and rebuild.

Swansea MAD will continue to offer invaluable digital training and support

Swansea Wellness Centre is taking its services online, and we’ll update you with a full programme of online events next week.

Swansea ITEC remains the home of high quality ICT training and apprenticeships

Today is a day of uncertainty.

Tomorrow may be challenging.

The day after tomorrow is ours to plan and live. Let’s make it a good day.