June 29th 2020

Open letter from business leaders in support of kinder, closer and more connected communities

Dear Reader,

The 5th July marks the 72nd birthday of the NHS and the nation is going to come together to give thanks. Thanks to all those who have helped us through this crisis, those who have gone to work to keep us healthy and supplied, our neighbours who have looked after the vulnerable and the whole country for sticking with social distancing, even when it was hard.

As businesses we will be part of that moment because we too have many people to thank. Our colleagues, our suppliers, our customers and our communities. These have been difficult times for us all and we have only survived because of them.

But saying thanks is only the start. We know that this crisis will have long lasting and widespread ramifications with the potential impact on livelihoods as profound as the crisis itself. We know too that the only way we will get through this is if we build on the connections and community spirit, we have nurtured in the last few months to build a kinder, compassionate, considerate world that can support each other through the years ahead.

Businesses have a key role to play and as business leaders we are committing ourselves to doing all that we can to be part of building closer communities to build broader prosperity for all. What that will look like will be different for different businesses, and it might include supporting volunteering in the local community, providing resources to local community groups or helping our colleagues connect better with each other. We know that this will have huge benefits for both our communities and for our individual mental and physical wellbeing.

While the roles that we can play will be different, the outcomes we seek are the same: a closer connected society where we know each other better, are better able to support each other and where we build caring communities in which we all feel we belong. We hope that that will become one of the positive legacies of the devastating virus.

Signed,

Dame Helena Morrissey, Founder, 30% club

Ian Stuart,CEO, HSBC UK Bank plc

Angela Darlington, CEO, Aviva UK Life

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, Director-General CBI

Nicola Mendelsohn CBE, VP EMEA, Facebook

Bill Kelleher, IBM UK and Ireland.

John Pearce, CEO, Made in Britain

Nick Matthews, Chair, Co-Operatives UK

Jonathan Downey, Founder, Hospitality Union

Stephen Kelly, Chair, Tech Nation

Steve Rowe, CEO, Marks & Spencer

Peter Jones, CBE

Sir Donald Brydon, Chair, Sage

Richard Davies, Founder, Twickets

Jeffrey Young, Founder, Allegra Group

Justin King, Former CEO, Sainsbury’s

Ronan Harris, MD, Google UK & Ireland

Julie Abraham, CEO, Richer Sounds

Sir Charlie Mayfield,Former Chair, John Lewis & Partners

Kate Nicholls, CEO, UK Hospitality

Gerry Ford, Founder & CEO, Caffé Nero

Stephen Woodford, CEO, Advertising Association

Sophie Devonshire, CEO, The Marketing Society

Peter Mühlmann, Founder & CEO, Trustpilot

Raoul Shah & Tim Bourne, Co-Founders, Exposure

Mike Butcher MBE, Founder, Techfugees & TechVets

Chris Turner, Executive Director, B Lab UK

Josh Graff, UK Country Manager, LinkedIn

Mike Cherry OBE, Federation of Small Businesses

Gavin Patterson, CEO, Salesforce

Kevin Ellis, Chairman, PWC UK

Martha Lane-Fox

Paul Moody, Executive Chair, Card Factory

Louise Hill, Co-Founder and COO of gohenry

John Hitchcox, Founder of YOO

Kyle Whitehill, CEO of Avanti Communications

Amanda McKenzie, CEO, BITC

Adam Marshall, Director-General, British Chambers of Commerce

Maurice Ostro OBE, Chair, Business Action Council

Oli Wheeler, CEO, Threesixty

Donald Morrison, SVP, Jacobs

Peter Simpson, CEO, Anglian Water

Julian David, CEO, Tech UK

Alison Rose, CEO, NatWest Group

Gerard Manley, MD, Olam International

Hayden Wood, Co-Founder and CEO, Bulb

Amit Gudka, Co-Founder and Chief Energy Officer, Bulb

Steve Butterworth, CEO, Neighbourly

Bill Michael, Chairman, KPMG in the UK

Paul Bainsfair, Director General, IPA

Susie Ma, CEO, Tropic

Andrew Croft, CEO, St James’s Place

David Allen, CEO, Wates Group

Mark Evans, CEO, Telefonica UK (O2)

Moray MacLennan, CEO, M&C Saatchi

Simon Emeny, CEO, Fuller, Smith and Turner PLC

Lord Rami Ranger CBE, Chairman, Sun Mark

Will Butler-Adams, CEO, Brompton Bikes

Richard Fearon, CEO, Leeds Building Society

Rob Hattrell, VP UK, eBay.

Ash Schofield, CEO, giffgaff

Mike Hawes, CEO, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)

Richard Torbett, CEO, British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI)

Caroline Norbury MBE, CEO, Creative Industries Federation & Creative England

Audrey Gallacher, Interim CEO, Energy UK

Neil Carberry, CEO, Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).

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