Coronavirus McConks SUP| Business continuity
We were meant to be publishing a post right now about how we were going to be helping dozens, if not hundreds, of kids get up running with stand up paddling this summer. A network of SUP instructors around the country willing to give up their time to give free lessons to vulnerable children or kids with less access to watersports, with prizes and care kits from McConks SUP. Given the latest government health advice (as of March 17, 2020) and potential for further restrictions in the coming weeks – particularly movements away from homes, such as getting to water – we’ve put this initiative on hold.
Being on a stand up paddle board, away from crowds, and SUPing in the sunlight (hopefully killing all those nasty illness bugs in the process), is one of the best ways of self-isolating and avoiding COVID19. But whilst the government has restricted all but essential travel we’re taking a little pause to decide what the right thing to do is. If you have any comments or opinions about this we’d love to hear them!
SUP supplier protections
It’s times like this that working with the right SUP industry suppliers is worth its absolute weight in gold. Our suppliers treat their workers fairly. Our factories even give paid holidays and support to people off work sick – that’s pretty unheard of in China! But it’s always been a part of doing business with us. Also, our factories operate an aseptic environment to prevent dust and dirt getting into McConks SUP gear. Paid sick leave plus an aseptic environment means that the risk of virus fragments being left on, or in, our kit when it leaves the factory is extremely low. And we only ship our products by sea, therefore the delay between shipping and arriving at our HQ means that the risk of our products carrying live coronavirus is as close to zero as it can get.
Our HQ and our distribution centre in South Wales are fastidious about cleaning hands between product picks. And as family companies, you can rest assured that workers are fully paid if they are self-isolating, therefore there is no pressure on employees to come to work whilst they might be infectious.
We can’t totally eliminate the risk of coronavirus on our products but everything we are doing at McConks SUP is trying to prevent the spread of CV19.
The future for McConks SUP
We don’t know what the world will look like on the other side of this virus but we know it will be different. We’re worried about the future for some of our friends and partners running small businesses. As SUP instructors, outdoor ed centres providing stand up paddle board tuition and tours, SUP rental businesses, riverside pubs and such it’s going to be tough. Sustained loss of income over the next few months will weigh heavily on them, and some might not make it…
McConks is not a business that has sold our soul to the devil in exchange for sales and profits. We’ve never taken on equity partners or massive structural debts. Therefore, unlike lots of others in the industry, we haven’t got a monthly ‘monster’ desperate for all of our money. Our outgoings are relatively low in comparison to many. So if we need to sit on stock for a year we can do so.
But we’re not changing anything in the near future. We’re fully open for business, as is SUPbypost.com. We currently have stock of most McConks SUP products, and we have another container arriving in May to feed the summer boom!?!
So as things stand, unless logistics are forcibly shut down by the UK government, all pre-orders will still be shipped before Easter (for pre-order batch 1), or in May (for pre-order batch 2).
Stay safe and don’t panic!
It’s easy to say. We’re trying to keep a level head ourselves at the moment and it’s difficult. Falling off a cliff in panic, if you let the ‘mental monsters’ overwhelm you, is easily done. We’re not mental health experts but disconnecting from Facebook, TV, radio for a few hours and reading a good book works wonders to reset those anxiety levels. And even better to do that stood on a SUP in the middle of a river or at the coast. If that fails just sit in your garden – after all the weather getting better now…and fresh air, Vitamin D and birdsong in your ear works wonders.
Whatever you do look after yourselves, your family, friends and neighbours. We don’t have immediate family in the risk categories so we’re lucky, but we know parents who are. And friends (both personal and business) who are in vulnerable categories as well – all of whom we’re thinking of regularly and sending all our best wishes to!
If you’re unsure of what practising social distancing may look like then here’s an example. What could be a possibility is driving somewhere you know to be quiet for a paddle on your SUP. We will say this isn’t from an official source, as far as we know, but the points are sensible.