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Sustainability West Midlands and Environment Agency working in partnership to run Business Resilience Workshop

Recent flooding and severe weather in the West Midlands has presented many challenges to local small businesses.  Sustainability West Midlands (SWM) and the Environment Agency are working in partnership to run a free workshop that will support businesses to improve their resilience to future weather extremes, including flooding, heatwaves and storms. The workshop will include good practice presentations from businesses that have already taken steps to reduce their risk and seen the associated benefits.  One of these businesses won the Business in the Community resilience award last year. All attendees will also be able to carry out a free Business Resilience Healthcheck. This is an easy to use tool designed specifically to assist businesses with identifying the problems that severe weather may cause for them, and acts as a good starting point for any business wishing to strengthen their resilience. Last year, the Environment Agency launched their Recognition of Community Support Scheme to recognise businesses and community groups who work with them to address flooding issues in the Perry Barr and Witton area.  As such, the workshop will include a presentation on the progress made with this scheme and an overview of the flood warning systems that the Environment Agency provide.  Environment Agency representatives will also be on hand to discuss the best ways to prepare for flooding. Alan Carr, managing the business event for SWM, said “working with hundreds of West Midlands businesses over the last few years, we have learnt that over 70% have been affected by severe weather and of these nearly 50% have suffered losses of over £200,000. However, by taking simple steps to improve their resilience, businesses will not only reduce costs associated with repairs but can also improve their competitive edge with suppliers and investors. This workshop provides businesses with a starting point to achieving a more resilient future.” This workshop forms part of a wider programme of events aimed at supporting businesses, health practitioners and local authorities in adapting to changing weather patterns. The West Midlands Climate Adaptation Partnership, run by SWM in partnership with the Environment Agency, will be working with these sectors over the coming year to provide expert advice and guidance on how to become more resilient to weather extremes. The workshop is kindly being hosted free of charge by Aston Villa Football Club on Friday 16 May between 9:00am and 12:30pm. To book a place email Alan Carr at SWM at alan.carr@swm.org.uk or visit the Events page.

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