Dutch financial journalists Zooming in to a virtual press conference lunch organised by Amsterdam-based Bellier Communication this week, with media support from The Marketing Heaven, were able to enjoy an immune system- boosting healthy lunch at their home computers as they quizzed analysts online on their geopolitical, economic and market insights into China’s emerging recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The lunch was supplied by an Amsterdam catering company and delivered by a local taxi firm, both of which saw their incomes dry-up at the onset of the coronavirus crisis in the Netherlands.
“We have seen the way we work completely transformed into a digital environment in a remarkably short space of time, from twice-daily video planning calls with our team in their homes, to creating and editing Zoom media events – such as this virtual press conference with AXA Investment Managers’ analysts in the UK and Hong Kong and the Dutch Clingendael Institute,” Edwin Nabbe, co-founder of Bellier Communication said.
“But an equally important lesson we’ve learned is that Bellier can find small ways to continue to support our longstanding local suppliers, who are seeing their livelihoods disappear, almost overnight. It is vital that money continues to cascade across the neighbourhood ecosystem of small businesses to save jobs and enterprises upon which individuals and entire families depend,” he added.
“We can all help each other and do it much faster than governments are able to. AXA IM has strongly backed us in taking their media relations online and Bellier, in turn, is supporting Famous Flavours and Jordy’s Limo Service. Too many wealthy big companies with deep reserves and buffers are using the cover of the crisis to squeeze small suppliers on costs, or as an excuse to cut staff they could afford to keep onboard.”
Jordy Zuijdwegt, 44, owner and sole driver at Jordy’s Limo Service in Purmerend, delivered Famous Flavours packed lunches for the virtual press conference to journalists around Amsterdam and in Utrecht.
“This is the first job I’ve had in weeks. My income went down 50% and then 75% and then to nothing within days and I’ve got no savings. Luckily my girlfriend has a job and the leasing company has deferred payments on my car for three months. I should get €1,500 a month from the government, but I don’t know when that will arrive. I’m a hard-working guy and I want to work. I’m getting fed-up of staying at home and working in the garden. My eight-year old son also can’t go to school, or go out and play with his friends, and he feels a lot of tension because of the coronavirus,” Zuijdwegt said.
E-mail Jordy Zuijdweg: email@example.com
Famous Flavours usually provides the catering and decoration for events, but this business came to a complete standstill with the coronavirus crisis, as all bookings were cancelled, Rosalinda Presburg, 55, office manager and more, said the caterer had to rapidly find an alternative source of income and did this by creating lunch and borrel boxes.
“Our new business is going well and I’m confident we’ll get through the crisis. I don’t really find social distancing a problem. I stay in contact with friends and family by phone, or social media. Not so much has really changed. In the evening it’s wonderfully quiet now when I walk my dog and I don’t hear any planes. Nature is going to benefit from this slow-down and I hope governments will think about that when everything gets going again,” Presburg said.
The Dutch financial media corps dined on a Famous Flavours packed lunch menu of humus and goats cheese salad, with a cheese baguette, fruit salad and a smoothie, for this week’s virtual press conference. The feast was topped off by a virus-fighting multivitamin shot.