A City That’s Stronger Together

A City That’s Stronger Together

25 June 2020

Alexis Krachai is the Managing Director of Counter Context, Vice President of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, and the Vice Chair of the Business Response Group. He is also heavily involved in the Sheffield Property Association who have been striving in the city to improve the value of our bricks and mortar by engaging with cultural organisations and wider city initiatives.  All of which means we felt he was an ideal candidate to write our first guest piece around why ‘Make Yourself At Home’ is important for the city...

"I spent my childhood growing up in the north of the city. I then left for the bright and busy lights of the capital. I came back in 2006 and have lived in Sheffield ever since. It has taken a pandemic for me to realise that Sheffield is not just where I live. It is also my home.

I have only been into the city centre once since the end of March. I am lucky not to be shielding and can work comfortably from my house so the last three months have involved few real hardships. The communications agency I run moved to remote working overnight and has remained busy throughout. I know others have not had it so lucky.

I also recognise this city and the wider country face some tough economic times which is why I’ve spent an increasing amount of my time working with others to bring together Sheffield’s business community. Only though working together can we rebuild a stronger and fairer economy.

Video calls are the new norm. I’ve only seen colleagues, friends and contacts through a screen. Despite the physical distance I have never felt closer to them. From the moment it become obvious this pandemic would change everything the solidarity shown and the effort put in by many to see Sheffield through this historic event has given me great cause for comfort.

Where it has been usual we’ve maintained business as usual. Individuals and organisations continuing to work together to make Sheffield stronger and to help our communities to thrive. Where a response to the pandemic has been necessary we have mobilised. Shortly before the lockdown groups like Sheffield Chamber, the Sheffield Property Association, Sheffield Digital and Sheffield Business Together formed a Business Response Group with colleagues from the Council. Many involved have said they have not seen this level of collaboration before.

The impacts of Covid-19 are going to be with us for a while. The hard work of protecting communities and rebuilding our economy has only just begun but we’ve already built something stronger. A stronger network of relationships that will serve our city well in the years to come. This work has made me feel ever more at home. I hope others have and will feel the same too."

Written by Alexis Krachai, Managing Director, Counter Context and Vice President, Sheffield Chamber of Commerce.