During this time of crisis, we see the best of people and the worst of people.

We see neighbours helping neighbours, support groups being set up for those who are more vulnerable. We also see the opposite with the selfishness of panic buying, when government and retailers tell us there will be no shortages.

Our concern, at The North-East Initiative on Business Ethics, is that many businesses, during this time of crisis will suffer critical cash flow difficulties.

We would like to see this region recognised as a good place in which to do business and that means we all must carry on responsible business and not put others at high risk, particularly in cash flow.

We also wish to ensure that our suppliers continue in business after the crisis is over. There is nothing more costly, nor disruptive to business, than having to source new suppliers who will deliver quality, on time and at a reasonable price.

Our plea to all businesses is to act responsibly and ensure that payments are made on the due date. Delaying payment can have a disastrous effect on small businesses, even where there is offer a of support from the government. Let us therefore show that this region, one that is known for friendliness and welcoming strangers, can act responsibly and be a good place in which to do business.

Kevan Carrick – Chairman, North East Initiative on Business Ethics