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Joanne Meade, who runs the New Sun Dial on South Shields seafront epitomises the agile and nimble approach highlighted as being so important to success in the Chamber’s latest economic survey results.

The pub, which benefited from a £1m investment two years ago, has been impacted by Government restrictions and Joanne believes the business survived lock down due to the ability to pivot and great teamwork.

Results of the survey showed clearly stability was achieved by survey respondents with adaptable, hardworking and talented staff, who were committed to the business doing well.

Joanne Meade said: “My experience echoes the Chamber survey results. With huge events on our doorstep like the Great North Run and our ability to host weddings as well as different events, we were booked up for a full year at weekends. The lock-down hit us hard, like all venues, but we made a point of refunding everyone who didn’t want to move their plans forward to next year. We have always been very fair with our customers and it has been repaid with 2021 looking healthy already.

The Chamber’s survey showed businesses which were agile in their approach were also doing better than those unable to adapt to the new measures.

Joanne added: “When we were able to re-open we had to completely restock the cellar as barrels were out of date but our well-established, strong relationships helped, for example the brewery supported us with new stock at no cost.

We totally changed the way we worked and had a good summer with the staycation tourists. Eat out to help out was also a hectic time, almost too busy to manage. Now with the latest restrictions we have to change again but throughout all of this our customers have been amazing and understanding.

Adaptability has been key to the New Sun Dial’s approach to whatever has come its way. There are now diversification plans in place for a beer box delivery service, beer two pint ‘hoppers’ for people to take away and afternoon teas, through a team-up with Ghiaccio.

The sense of community amongst the South Shields venues has also been key with fellow businesspeople helping each other out where they could.

Joanne said: “I had extensive business experience before running the New Sun Dial and it has made for a perfect combination with my knowledge and a fantastic 19-strong team. My staff have supported me to change to all of the different shifts in regulations over the past seven months and we wouldn’t still be here without that flexibility.”