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Retail industry experts offering free mentoring for companies affected by coronavirus

Tom Shearsmith
07 May 2020

Some of the most successful names in business have come together to create The All Together mentoring initiative, offering free mentoring, coaching and advice for companies in the UK and Ireland affected by the COVID-19 crisis. 

The All Together mentoring initiative has drawn a top-level team of 100 well known, cross-sector CEOs, chair-people and investors all offering their help and expertise on a voluntary basis.

From the founders of Innocent Drinks and Graze to the CEOs of White Stuff, Flying Tiger, Gaucho and Aver PR, All Together’s advisers are drawn from fields including tech, retail, hospitality and the creative industries, engineering, manufacturing and business services.

All Together’s advisers aim to help their paired businesses through the current crisis so they emerge stronger and fitter at the end of it – with the initiative open to chief executives and owners of SMEs with annual revenues of between £2m and £100m. 

The All Together task force is spearheaded by Jamie Mitchell, Chairman of Rare Restaurants and former MD of Innocent Drinks, among the dozens of household brands he has headed up in his 20 year career.

Jamie Mitchell said: “CEOs and business owners today are making critical decisions that will determine not only their ability to survive this crisis, but the sort of business they will be once the economy starts to recover.

"That’s the most useful conversation right now. People are constantly adjusting their plans – how can we use this time to build things and come out stronger?” 

Now in its third week of operation, 100 former and current bosses have signed up as advisers for All Together, currently mentoring 100 businesses - although Mitchell believes they have the capacity to help up to 200. 

“Our advisers all know what it’s like to run a business and most are still working so they know exactly how difficult and beyond upsetting this crisis is. All Together is not about the specifics of the laws on furloughing – it’s more about how do you take tough decisions: being a CEO is lonely at the best of times, so having someone external who you can talk things through with is important.” 

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