Local Spotlight

Find out more about local businesses helping in the fight against Coronavirus and how your business might be able to help.

Hero Shield

Local company Shnuggle created a collective of companies to create a face shield for use by frontline health workers. Other local companies including Denroy Plastics and TG Eakin are involved in the supply and manufacture of the masks. 

Due to fundraising efforts, the collective are able to supply the face shields to healthcare workers free of charge. Their first full production began on Friday 3 April 2020, producing 3,000 masks. 

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DC Face Shields

Local company Dougan Contracts have swapped production to producing Face Shields for health care workers. Working alongside local companies AG Electrical and Smart Space who are helping with distribution, the face shields are being donated for free to those who need PPE. 

Find out more about DC Face Shields 

Local Bakery adapting to thrive during the Pandemic

Many local businesses have had to adapt during the pandemic and are thriving. Bangor bakery, Bumble and Goose, were recently featured in the Times. Explaining their story, the bakery experienced a surge in demand when lockdown began and the owners husband, a tiler, adapted and learnt new skills to create a website and drive traffic to it to help his wife's business. 

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Signature Works

Bangor based clothing supplier The Signature Works has moved outside of its normal product range to secure a large delivery of scrubs for the health service in Northern Ireland after receiving an urgent request for supplies due to coronavirus.

They ordered 70,000 pairs of scrubs and had the first delivery to the HSCNI within a week.

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Food Heroes

The Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association have released a video of 'food heroes' across Northern Ireland who are doing vital work to ensure food is available. The video features two local companies: Mash Direct and Echlinville Distillery.

Credit: Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association

Healthy Export Business For Peninsula Kelp

Newtownards company, Peninsula Kelp, has developed an extensive portfolio of natural and organic products harvested from the waters around Northern Ireland.

The team have successfully developed their export routes and now export to New Zealand, Canada, the US, France and Great Britain.

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Creative businesses finding new ways of delivering services while helping address issues of isolation for the wider community

Boom StudiosAs with every local business Boom! Studios had to flip its business model. In 3 days they saw 80% of their income stop, studios closed, their weekly programme stopped and all public events cancelled. 

Like many Creative Hubs across the world, they reacted quickly, adding in new services via the Boom Digital Hub. Through this hub they are continuing to support their studio members and are offering art and creative classes to the wider community, working to combat the feelings of loneliness and isolation during this period of lock-down.

For local artists, designers and makers Boom! have re-designed "Trade", their professional development & support activity. They have a sign-posting service for information and are planning to offer professional training.
The other side of the digital hub is the part that is open to the wider artist community and the public. Currently they have 5 online activities a week being offered to the public, from weekly art challenges to abstract art classes, raising funds for Boom! to be able to continue to support local artists, designers and makers. 

There are many challenges to work through at this time but Boom! are excited to be connecting with the community in new and innovative ways. 

Find out more about the classes

Hand Sanitiser Production

As a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic, hand sanitiser was a commodity that was quickly becoming unavailable. The World Health Organisation released a formulation for hand sanitiser and local companies jumped at the opportunity to start helping with supply.

Echlinville Distillery and Copeland Distillery have both used their facilities to start producing hand sanitiser for purchase and they have also donated large supplies to health care facilities. 

Find out more about Echlinville's sanitiser

Read more about Copeland Distillery

New Venture for Food Stories

Michael, the owner of local company, Food Stories, completely transformed his business from manufacturing his own brands of healthy snacks to importing and distributing medical grade PPE, helping support essential workers in Northern Ireland. 

Michael has now imported millions of items of PPE for healthcare and other essential workers. As many companies prepare to return to the workplace in coming weeks, Michael’s supply chain could be one part of the solution to ensuring workplace safety for employees.

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The Grocer Gold Awards

Comber company, Mash Direct is one of three NI food companies shortlisted for the Grocer Gold Awards. The Grocer Gold Awards celebrate and recognise the very best standards in grocery retail, and rewards only the highest levels of service, initiative and commitment in the sector.

Mash Direct is shortlisted for Brand Supplier of the Year. 

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Guild of Fine Food Spotlight

The Guild of Fine Food has been gathering and sharing innovative ideas from across the UK and Ireland’s independent food and drink retail community. 

Featured in their spotlight is Indie Füde in Comber, who offered free delivery for those in self isolation and a click and collect service. Also, Rock a Doodle - Belfast Hot Sauce company donated 1,000 bottles to Copeland Distillery for them to make their sanitiser for health care workers. 

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Boosting Frontline NHS Staff Learning

Holywood company, Synergy Learning, have partnered with University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust to build a platform that could support the induction and course delivery for up to 60,000 healthcare workers and volunteers many of whom were concerned about their knowledge and skills in specific relation to the pandemic and a potential change from their normal role. 

The platform created contains over 50 training courses 

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Offer Coronavirus Support from Your Business

UK Government are requesting support with things like:

  • medical testing equipment
  • medical equipment design
  • protective equipment for healthcare workers, such as masks, gowns and sanitiser
  • hotel rooms
  • transport and logistics, for moving goods or people
  • manufacturing equipment
  • warehouse or office space, for medical use or storage
  • expertise or support on IT, manufacturing, construction, project management, procurement or engineering
  • social care or childcare

The NI Civil Service is creating a central database of offers from organisations, businesses and voluntary bodies who can offer services to tackle COVID-19.

Register your Companies Details

COVID-19 Innovations Response Map

Companies aiming to help healthcare responses to the COVID-19 crisis can now collaborate via a new online platform.  

The platform, designed by InterTradeIreland and TechIreland, allows businesses to see quickly, in and beyond their region, who they can work with to combat the many supply chain and manufacturing challenges generated by the pandemic and meet pressing public need.

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Coronavirus Business Advice and Support

The AND business team is here to support you.

For further information or if you need help and advice, please get in touch via email or telephone 028 9147 3788