Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce has responded to the growing threat to commerce posed by the spread of coronavirus by creating a guide for businesses.

The overriding message is for businesses to ensure they have a “business continuity plan” (also referred to as a “BCP”) to mitigate the impact of the disease.

Damon Scott, chief executive of the chamber, said: “As an organisation set up to support, represent and promote Dunbartonshire business it is important that we do what we can to help businesses understand what measures they should be taking to prepare themselves against this very real threat.

“Whilst it has not yet taken hold fully in Scotland, incidences are on the increase. We are already hearing from our members about business events being cancelled. We are hearing more about offices and schools that are being closed in England and there is no doubt this will start to happen in Scotland soon.

“Health experts’ worst-case predictions are that a significant percentage of the population could be infected so the risk to business needs be taken very seriously.

“All businesses should have a business continuity plan to try and cover a range of eventualities - not just coronavirus but also to cover extreme weather, fire, flood and electrical.”

The online guide will help businesses think about how they deliver their services including impacts on supply, employees and cashflow.

Mr Scott added: “We will be putting out a call to our members to see if any are in a position to offer products or services to help businesses through what is likely to be a challenging and uncertain period and will update this online and our social media accordingly.”

The Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce guide for business can be found on the chamber website dunbartonshirechamber.co.uk.