Hillingdon is open for business - support your local high street
Tuesday 13 April: Hillingdon Council is assisting businesses across the borough who are re-opening today (Monday 12 April) and is encouraging residents to support their local shops and traders.
The long wait is over for thousands of Hillingdon businesses who have remained closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. From, today (Monday 12 April), most non-essential businesses including pubs, cafes, restaurants, gyms and hair salons can re-open providing they are safe for customers. Restaurants, cafes and pubs can only serve food and drink outdoors for the time being, and as the days become longer and the weather warmer, residents can enjoy outdoor dining.
To support businesses in the hospitality sector, and to make the re-opening of the borough's high streets as easy as possible the council is:
- offering free Pavement Licences for 12 months (from the date your licence starts) to accommodate outdoor customer seating areas outside cafes, restaurants and pubs.
- relaxing some rules on licensing applications such as no longer requiring to present original documents - these will be checked after the licence is granted
- suspending pre-application inspections for existing businesses. Inspections will be booked after the licence is granted
- allowing licence fees to be paid in instalments where it may be challenging for the business to pay a full year upfront
- allowing a period of grace for non-payment of annual fees
COVID marshals will advise and direct people to socially distance and help guide them through one way systems on patrols across the borough to ensure queues are safe
It is a legal requirement for businesses to display the NHS QR code poster, and ask every visitor to check in via the NHS app or provide their contact details. You can download your poster here: www.gov.uk/create-coronavirus-qr-poster
Full details are available on support available and what you need to do are on available on our website at www.hillingdon.gov.uk/support-for-businesses.
Traders can also register their business on the council's online business directory at www.hillingdon.gov.uk/businessdirectory. It's a great way or businesses to promote that they are open, what they offer and explain the safety measures they have in place to keep their customers safe.
Cllr Lavery, Hillingdon Council's Cabinet Member for Environment, Housing and Regeneration, said: "Local businesses have been waiting patiently for a very long time to be able to open again. They are the lifeblood of our local economy, and it is only right that we make it as easy as possible for them to open their doors again.
"Firstly, I'd like to thank our businesses who have complied with the restrictions to keep our borough safe. I know it's not been easy, but I hope you will take up the support we are offering to help you get back up and running, including the free pavement licensing.
"My message to everyone is simple - get behind your local high streets and town centres. Local traders need you after what has been an extremely tough year for them. So when you're thinking about buying a gift, eating out or even going to a local grocer - shop local, eat local and spend local."
A plan is also being developed for a programme of summer events across many of our high streets, including markets, children's attractions, floral displays and street entertainment. The council is also putting together a plan with the police to look into screening sports events outdoors. Full details will be made available nearer the time confirmed.
Residents are reminded to continue to follow the social distancing guidelines, and to continue wash hands and cover your face to reduce the transmission of the virus.
The council also encouraging businesses to ensure staff are tested regularly using any of our community testing sites or by ordering free testing kits for their staff. Further information is on the government's website at www.gov.uk/get-workplace-coronavirus-tests