A COUNTY business network has launched a virtual community to keep businesses connected during the coronavirus crisis.

Sterling Networks has launched “Sterling Virtual” to keep business in touch with each other and working together.

With more than 270 members from the business community, working together by virtual networking in groups across the region, Sterling Virtual helps maintain business relationships and visibility.

Just one month on from Sterling Networks’ biggest networking event to date, with 150 businesses attending a BIG breakfast event at Worcester Sixways stadium on February 27, the scene couldn’t be more different in today’s business world.

The launch of Sterling Virtual is welcomed by members who continue to network via Zoom, through the same structured meeting every other week across Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Oxfordshire.

Co-founder and director at Sterling Networks, Neil Davis, said: “It’s been a whirlwind launch of Sterling Virtual as we’ve had to quickly adapt to the changing business world because of the coronavirus.

“Although no one could have foreseen the massive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual networking was always on our list for the future expansion of Sterling Networks, as we could see clear benefits.

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“Not only can you network, any day or night, it also opens up new opportunities to business owners who are usually unable to attend physical meetings, perhaps for reasons of family commitments.

“We also now find that geographical boundaries to networking have automatically been lifted! From the comfort of your own home you can cost effectively network with businesses in different cities, even different regions, providing a sales and marketing platform without the restraints of logistics.”

As all businesses enter a period of uncertainty, the new Sterling Virtual Networks provide a platform where members can support each other in a practical way.

Earlier this year, Sterling Networks forged a partnership with the Leonard Cheshire charity to help support disability care across the country.

The partnership between Leonard Cheshire and Sterling will see disability awareness and disability inclusion being highlighted on the agenda in each of the 17 networking groups run by Sterling.