A Positive Business Approach
We thought we would take a different approach to today’s communication.
Rather than providing market commentary or educational information, we are featuring some of our local client businesses and professional connections who have taken a very positive approach to adopting new working methods during the lockdown.
We have recently faced many new challenges and find it very motivating and inspiring to see how these businesses have risen to the challenge and found innovative ways to deliver their services and keep their customers happy. Of course, if you have need of any of the featured businesses, please contact them. If you have a similar message to get out there, let us know.
We look forward to seeing you all soon. Enjoy seeing what’s on offer.
Benedicts restaurant, in St Benedicts Street in Norwich, was opened by Richard and Katja Bainbridge in June 2015 with the objective of offering a fine dining experience in a comfortable and relaxed environment.
We pride ourselves on using the best seasonal, local produce available, which is reflected in an ever-evolving menu. Since opening, the restaurant has gone from strength to strength winning many accolades that include The Times Top 100 Restaurants in the UK, Square Meal Top 100 and EDP Norfolk's Best Restaurant, alongside a rating of 6 in the Good Food Guide. Benedicts was awarded 3 AA Rosettes in January 2018.
Richard, originally from Norwich has travelled and worked his way through some of the most amazing Restaurants and countries across the globe. He has worked for Michel Roux Senior at the 3 Michelin starred Waterside Inn, for Günter Seeger (NY), Kevin Thornton (Dublin) and upon his return to Norfolk he was head chef at Galton Blackiston's Morston Hall.
Covid-19 has obviously presented huge challenges to us and the entire hospitality industry, but we were determined to find a way of providing ‘a taste of Benedict’s for our loyal customers. As a small locally owned independent business, we have been able to innovate quickly by developing a new offering.
We have created an online shop which allows people to order oven-ready meals from us that are easy to prepare, have a touch of elegance and are truly Benedicts Tasty. Fine dining in the comfort of your own home has never been so easy. Available to be booked online for Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and picked up from the restaurant on www.restaurantbenedicts.com
MCB Financial Services is a local independent mortgage and insurance advice specialist.
Customers are put at the centre of everything we do, and this is reflected in the number of new clients that are referred to us by existing clients.
MCB have been able to adapt our working methods since the lockdown to enable us to service both new and existing clients. We have spent much of our time contacting our clients to ensure that they have stayed safe and answering any financial questions they may have. Whilst new property purchases have declined over the last few weeks, we have been busy assisting with re-mortgages and product transfers.
Below we have detailed some of our most frequently asked questions:
Can I get a mortgage if I am furloughed?
Yes, the lender will use your furloughed income.
I have been furloughed and started back to work yesterday, how will a lender look at my situation?
Most lenders will only take your furloughed income until you receive your next payslip, however a few lenders will take a letter from your employer confirming your return to work and then take your normal income.
What’s happening with Surveys?
Physical property inspections are available again now, but lenders may still prefer to use remote or desktop valuations where possible. However, due to the impact of the initial lockdown, some lenders have substantial backlogs.
I am self-employed and have not been working due to the government guidelines, can I get a mortgage?
All lenders are now requesting the last 3 months business bank statements on top of their normal requirements, and hence for jobs such as hairdressers who will show no income, it is very unlikely that a lender will offer a mortgage.
If you have any queries, please call us for a non-obligation chat on 01603 864760.
Here at Rock Solid Graphics we’ve continued to supply and fit vehicle graphics, provide signage and supply print throughout the pandemic to many of our customers who are essential service providers and retailers.
Rock Solid Graphics was established in Norwich over 20 years ago and is, in essence, family run. The team have all grown up with the business and have all been encouraged to help with the development and growth. We very much operate a bottom up process with ideas, so we are always listening to what the team have to say and their ideas to help grow the business.
This mindset has been a benefit to the business at this time, meaning that we could adjust our business utilising our production services and skills to not only help our business continue to trade, but to expand our business offering.
Early in February we identified that there will be a great need for the Social Distancing products and looked at what businesses would specifically need. On the back of that we built an online shop that has a large range of these with the view of providing a service to businesses to help them trade in a safe and practical way. Because every business is different, we have created our products in a range of colours and we also brand the products with company logos and colour schemes. This has been a real benefit to our business, and we will continue to work on growing it.
As a business we appreciate our local community and believe it is important to put something back by supporting local charities and organisations. Whilst it’s difficult to raise funds in traditional ways which we had planned to do by running the London Marathon and Run Norwich, we decided to donate 5% of our online sales to local charities as we know this is a very difficult time for them right now.
We will continue to innovate, strive to support local businesses, and move our business with the situation as it changes to establish new offerings and services.
Zaks American Diners have been a Norfolk institution since 1976 when Harvey Platt opened Zaks Caravan on Castle Meadow. Our vision is “Everyone’s favourite” and we see ourselves as the comfy jumper you slip on that makes you feel better. Chris and I (Ian) became the owners of Zaks in January this year (timing eh!).
We both have a long association with the brand, having operated it for around 10 years whilst working for the previous owners. There are 3 restaurants, all uniquely different. Zaks Mousehold is our traditional family diner set in the iconic Pavilion on Mousehold Heath. Nearby the trendy Zaks Waterside, with its stunning outside dining area. Finally, we have the newest member of the family, Zaks Poringland, which offers a large airy feel, whilst still being packed to the rafters with cool memorabilia.
We had a lot of work to do to rebuild trust with our customers and teams alike when we took over, due to some previous decisions that were not well received. Before our forced closure due to Covid-19, we made many changes to the offer, all based on customer feedback. We used Social media, not to push messages out, but to listen to what customers wanted.
We were all ready to launch a new menu that saw the return of many old favourites before we closed. From June the 3rd, you will once again be able to enjoy a Zaks via our innovative, technology-driven, people empowered, Drive-in Takeaway Service. We’ve also taken the opportunity to refurbish both Poringland and Waterside so that when we do welcome you back, they will be wowed by our decor as well as our food.
We take safety very seriously, so making sure our guests can dine safely and our staff can stay safe serving them will be our top priority. www.zaks.uk.com
Paige Gouldthorpe is a Private Client Executive at Cozens-Hardy Solicitors. Cozens-Hardy LLP is a traditional law firm in the city centre of Norwich which has been operating since 1866.
Since the pandemic hit, Paige has experienced a noticeable demand in clients wanting to update their Wills and sort out their financial affairs. It is current firm policy not to conduct meetings in the office, so Paige is now conducting meetings virtually, using Skype or Zoom and also telephone appointments.
As a firm we have adapted to the government guidance professionally and we are still managing to provide an exceptional service to our clients.
This is the perfect time to review your financial affairs and deal with those tasks which forever remain on the ‘to do list’.
If you would like to have a free, easy and confidential chat with Paige she is contactable on 01603 724631.