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Chairman’s and CEO’s note

Chairman’s and CEO’s note

by Antoni F. Reczek, chairman of the board, and Paweł Siwecki, CEO, BPCC
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Dear Members and Readers,

Since our last edition of Contact Magazine Online published on 13 March, global economic reality has been turned upside down – our business plans no longer valid, scheduled meetings and trips abruptly cancelled, and employees are working from home. A return to some form of a ‘new normal’ is slowly happening; will things ever get back to how they were? At least we are - all of us - in this together. We would like to inform you that the chamber's staff are all well and have been working from home since 14 March.

The BPCC has risen to the challenge by taking number of actions that were required and expected from us. The Covid-19 section on our portal was launched during the first days of the Polish lockdown, powered by content from our advisory-sector members, who responded fantastically. The section has evolved from what was a collection of helpful advice towards a much fuller compendium of pragmatic insights into the help available from the Polish government – 74 of articles have been uploaded to date.

Our webinars have been highly successful – so far, we’ve promoted more than 100, expertly prepared by our members, covering almost every area of business hit by Covid-19. Please look out for the BPCC Webinar Newsletter each Wednesday and share your initiatives with our network. From something that was a fringe novelty, the webinar has suddenly become an essential tool for disseminating business information – it’s amazing how quickly we can all adapt if we have to!

The BPCC with other fellow chambers forming the International Group of Chambers of Commerce acted as a communication channel to the  Polish authorities, voicing our members' concerns about the Anti-Crisis Shield legislation.  In particular, the original restrictions limiting state support measures to companies whose beneficial owners are tax-resident in Poland have been eased. Five letters with proposals on business support have been sent to the government and are available to read on Polish version of our website. Regular calls with the member chambers of the British Chambers of Commerce’s networks, both global and domestic, are a useful source for ideas, best-practice sharing and benchmarking that we translate in to membership activities and new-business opportunities for the BPCC’s member community.

Big news came in April when Castorama joined the ranks of the BPCC’s Patrons. Castorama in Poland is wholly owned by Kingfisher plc, a FTSE250-listed company. We are delighted to join forces in mutual support of one of the largest UK investors in Poland, with 81 stores and employing 12,000 people. Kingfisher plc is also an important Polish exporter, sourcing a significant number of product lines from Poland. Welcome New Patron!

 On Thursday 28 April, the BPCC held its first-ever board meeting online, at which the date for this year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) was set for 24 June. With health and safety in mind, we are also planning this to be our first ever online AGM. Notice will be sent out together with the annual accounts with the required 21-days’ notice period. 

We hope you will find this edition of Contact Magazine Online particularly practical and full of insight – as PwC Polska’s chief economic advisor, Prof Witold Orłowski put it, a major realignment awaits us all. Enjoy the reading and stay healthy!

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