Broxtowe Borough Council welcomes return of high street shops as first step in revitalising local economy
More shops on Eastwood and Kimberley’s high streets began welcoming customers back this week with new social distancing measures to guard against the risk of coronavirus transmission.
Non-essential retail businesses were given the OK to reopen under new government guidelines, and those which have completed risk assessments will display signage to show customers they are Covid-secure.
Shoppers are being asked to maintain a safe distance from others, visit at less busy times of day, and not visit the high street in groups. Strict hand hygiene should also be observed, and some retailers will be providing sanitiser to help.
Tim Hallam, chairman of the jobs and economy committee at Broxtowe Borough Council, said: “There’s no denying that the last few months have been tough on our local businesses and we are working hard to support the re-opening of our high streets safely.”
The authority has been working with Nottinghamshire County Council to install signage in the borough’s town centres and smaller shopping areas, as part of ongoing efforts to support the business community.
The borough has distributed more than £16million in grants and additional financial aid so far, to help businesses stay afloat during lockdown.
The jobs committee was due to meet on Thursday, June 18, to discuss the allocation of a further £101,458 from the Government’s Re-opening High Streets Safely Fund. The council has been consulting businesses about the best way to allocate those funds and how best it can continue to support the recovery of the local economy, with many experts predicting difficult months ahead.
Coun Hallam said: “Things aren’t going to go back to normal overnight so we’ll be engaging with businesses and residents in the coming weeks to see what is working and where else we need to focus our efforts. This will help us to develop plans to revitalise the local economy in the longer term.”
Anyone using public transport must now wear a mask or other face covering which covers their mouth and nose. Exceptions apply where this poses a hazard to physical or mental health or if accompanying someone who relies on lip-reading.