In conversation with Professor Chris Whitty - COVID-19 and small businesses

Webinar 27 Jun 2022

FSB were delighted to be joined by Professor Chris Whitty, for an online Q&A on Monday 27th June where Professor Whitty and guests answered questions about small businesses and COVID-19

Captions on this video have been automatically generated and the accuracy will depend on audio quality, background noise and accents.

COVID-19 is not over.  Small businesses are still facing the impacts of COVID, often in their workplaces and among their staff.  The prospect of future variants is a key concern, especially as we look beyond the summer. 

A quote from Chris Whitty " It's been a tough period for small businesses, but thank you for putting in place measures to keep not only your staff safe - but also the general public"

In this webinar Professor Chris Whitty is joined by Dr Susan Hopkins of UKHSA and FSB's own Tina McKenzie and Craig Beaumont who answer audience questions around COVID-19, the latest public health advice, and the impact of COVID on small businesses like yours. Is the pandemic effectively over?  Should we treat COVID-19 much like flu or other respiratory infections?  Should you still be wearing masks?  Should we be preparing for Winter 2022/23 to be as bad for COVID-19 impact/restrictions as 2021 and 2020?  Have non-Covid health impacts been considered enough?

Featured speakers 


Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer

Professor Chris Whitty is Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England, the UK government’s Chief Medical Adviser and head of the public health profession. He represents the UK on the Executive Board of the World Health Organization. Professor Whitty is a practising NHS Consultant Physician at University College London Hospitals (UCLH) and the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, and Gresham Professor of Physic at Gresham College.


Dr Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Advisor, UK Health Security Agency

In October 2021 Susan became Clinical & Public Health Transition Lead and the Chief Medical Advisor for UKHSA.

Previously she was the Interim Chief Medical Advisor at NHS Test and Trace and the Strategic Response Director for COVID-19 in PHE and led the division of healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial resistance.

She was appointed in 2006 as a consultant in infectious diseases and microbiology at the Royal Free London and continues to practice clinically. 

She holds current research funding of approximately £20million with research partners across the UK and has more than 250 peer-reviewed publications related to infectious diseases.


Tina McKenzie, Policy and Advocacy Chair for FSB and CEO of Staffline Ireland

Tina established the Ireland Division of Staffline in 2013, and through organic and acquired growth it is now one of the largest recruitment companies on the island of Ireland.

Tina was appointed Policy and Advocacy Chair for FSB in March 2022. Prior to this, she spent more than three years as Chair of the Policy Unit for FSB Northern Ireland.


Craig Beaumont, Chief of External Affairs at FSB

Craig Beaumont is the Chief of External Affairs at the Federation of Small Businesses. Craig leads FSB’s Westminster Office team, and so on the staff side is FSB’s chief lobbyist and media spokesperson, covering UK and England issues affecting the small business and self-employed community.

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