Day: March 20, 2020

Firm offering SMEs ‘grey hairs’ in the boardroom expands into North West

A company which helps SMEs to scale up rapidly by giving them access to experienced part-time directors is expanding into the North West with the launch of a Manchester office.

Bristol-based has appointed Mark Wilson, the former managing director of Mamas and Papas, to spearhead its operation and build its team in the region.

The company aims to disrupt the recruitment market by providing direct access to a talent pool of part-time executive directors for commercial, operations and CEO roles. It allows scale-ups, SMEs and their private equity backers to rapidly fill gaps in the management team, with no recruitment fees and a fraction of the cost of a full-time hire.

Mark Wilson spent 16 years at Mamas and Papas, growing turnover from £14m to £120m, and was also MD of activity toy specialist Plum Products and on the board of leading Turkish private equity firm Actera Group. His

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Pret a Manger to cut staff pay and hours as customers stay away

Pret a Manger is to cut staff working hours and pay by a quarter across its 550 branches as customers follow government advice to stay at home to dampen the spread of coronavirus.

The London-based coffee shop chain has emailed staff, most of whom earn the minimum wage or slightly more, telling them the reduction in hours will be implemented from the end of next week until 1 April across its network on a case by case basis. At this time the focus is mostly on the UK, where Pret has 400 shops.

The company’s 12,000 staff were told it was triggering contractual clauses relating to “unforeseen, exceptional circumstances”, and that the measures would remain in place for at least three months. The company, which said it might cut hours further as the situation worsened, said the move was aimed at avoiding job cuts.

“Like many high street businesses, we’ve

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Mark my words podcast | Business News

PODCAST: Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss the market overview in these dramatic times, government and industry policy responses, travel challenges, earning guidances, businesses taking on staff, Acciona and CPB Contractors going head to head, Cottesloe aged care and apartment project, and our special report on the ICT sector.

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The Skift needs your support

Skift is in the midst of the pandemic while also providing full coverage.

The publication writes, “Our team of journalists and analysts are doing the best work of their lifetimes at a time when information is needed the most in the sector, we have dedicated the last decade of our business to.

“Our reporters are writing original stories, analysis, and opinion you won’t find anywhere else.”

The publication further goes on to thank its readers who have offered to help in these troubled times.

Skift further adds, “As a small business that employees about 60 full-time employees — and until last week many freelancers around the world — our business is hit because travel is hit, and because our partners across the industry are hit. Our events business, which is 40 percent of our revenues, is as impacted as is anyone else’s in the events world.”

Readers can contribute at

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