Residents encouraged to shop locally as council helps businesses to become Covid Secure
Wednesday 17 June: Hillingdon Council is providing a package of support and guidance to help businesses reopen safely and encourage residents to visit their local high street.
With the reopening of non-essential retail stores this week and the hospitality sector expected to follow at the beginning of July if the government gives the go-ahead, the council's support package will help get businesses back up and running safely, boost the local economy and allow residents to shop with confidence in Hillingdon.
The council is providing a free street marking service for businesses to ensure social distancing on the high street, assistance with tables and chairs licence applications for outdoor dining, and support with risk assessments. All businesses are required to identify and put in place measures to minimise the risk of the virus spreading.
The council is also looking at other ways it can help businesses become Covid Secure. It is planning to launch a new business directory on its website for businesses to advertise their opening hours, special offers and any coronavirus-related restrictions.
Yesterday (Tuesday 16 June) the council's licensing and food and safety teams held a special Q&A session for businesses on Twitter, responding to questions about how to reopen safely.
The teams visited more than 1,000 retail premises last week to offer help and guidance, which will also be offered to food and drink businesses, hairdressers, beauty salons and nail bars when they reopen.
The council has also been helping local businesses access the government's package of temporary financial measures to help them through this period of disruption. Eligible smaller businesses have been provided with a one-off cash grant of £10,000, while larger premises were entitled to a cash grant of £25,000.
Between Monday 23 March and Tuesday 16 June, the council distributed more than £37.4 million in support grants to help 2,802 local businesses. The council has also launched a new fund - Local Authority Discretionary Grants - for small businesses who were not eligible for previous grants. Applications close on Friday 19 June.
Cllr Ray Puddifoot, Leader of Hillingdon Council, said: "Hillingdon businesses have much to offer local residents and, as we begin to ease out of lockdown, we are doing all we can to ensure that they are able to reopen safely for both employees and customers.
"We hope that through the support we're offering, we can encourage residents to shop in Hillingdon and help the local economy to bounce back."
For more information visit: www.hillingdon.gov.uk/guidance-and-support-for-local-businesses