With the roadmap out of lockdown providing a much-needed lifeline for many local businesses, Glossop and its surrounding villages are gearing up to begin the big reopen from 12th April onwards.
Retail outlets deemed “non essential”, indoor leisure facilities, self contained accommodation and hospitality outlets with outdoor spaces such as beer gardens can open from that date – if they wish – and many local businesses will be spending the next few weeks getting ready to welcome customers back into their spaces.
To this end, we have pulled together this handy guide to re-opening safely, as well as a list of resources available to small businesses to ensure they succeed during this phase of the pandemic:
Resources for reopening safely:
Although we have some glimmers of hope on the horizon as the Covid19 vaccine continues to roll out through the country, it’s clear that many consumers will still be wary about returning to “normal”, whatever that looks like. As such, it is prudent for small businesses to increase customer confidence by instilling several measures.
The government has pulled together this handy guide to working safely during the Coronavirus crisis, with the three main elements for SMEs being:
Carrying out a risk assessment is not as daunting as it may sound, and the Health and Safety Executive has devised this advice guide for businesses so they can do this to the best of their abilities, whatever the sector they operate in.
The correct hand-washing procedure has been drummed into us all over the last year, but if you’d like a refresher, or would like to remind staff members of the correct way to do this, you can check out this NHS guide.
To ensure appropriate social distancing, you may wish to avoid sharing workstations, or use floor tape or paint to help customers or shoppers maintain a 2m distance from each other where possible. You can also stagger arrival times for visitors or set a limit on the number of shoppers who can enter your premises at the same time. Depending on the nature of your business, there is more advice in the government guide to working safely during these latter stages of the pandemic.
The business closures and ever-changing landscape over the last 12 months have been unfathomably tough on small businesses, especially those not able to pivot to provide online services during the national lockdown periods.
For businesses in the UK, including limited company directors, there are grants, loans and tax relief schemes available as long as you meet the eligibility factors. If you haven’t already, you can find out more here.
If you are self employed, you can potentially claim SEISS grants from the government, as long as you meet certain criteria; you must be classed as a self employed individual/sole trader rather than a limited company, you must have traded in the 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 tax years, your trading profits must not exceed £50,000 per year and your business must have been impacted by the coronavirus crisis. Find out more here, applications for the fourth payment open in April.
There is further local support available, too, so if you haven’t taken advantage of grants or funding available to you, it’s also worth checking out the information below to see if you can access support to boost your business as we reopen over the next few months.
HIGH PEAK BOROUGH COUNCIL
There are finance support grants available and local businesses can apply via HPBC. There is a current mandatory grant scheme available until 31st March, so any applications for grant funding will need to be received by this date.
For up to date information, HPBC advises all businesses to sign up to their e-newsletter, which draws together lots of useful information from apprenticeship schemes, business support and grants etc.
Additionally, on 3rd March, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that the government would be launching a Restart Grant – a one-off grant available to businesses who are liable for business rates and who operate in the personal care, hospitality, leisure, retail and accommodation sector. You can find about both schemes via this link, and find out about more general business support here.
DERBYSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL / D2N2
For further information on wider support and D2N2, you can find out more and access a plethora of information here. Additional business support advice, plus advice on health and wellbeing for SMEs in the county can be found here.
Derbyshire is also part of the ShopAppy scheme, which encourages people to shop local and support their local high streets using a website and click & collect. You can read all about it in our blog post.
HIGH STREET TASK FORCE
Another great resource for information is the High Streets Task Force. The initiative provides support to local leaders in town centres and high streets in England, and the website hosts a wide range of training, learning, and data insights, including a COVID-19 Recovery Framework to help towns and villages identify what they need to do now, as well as how to plan and build capacity for recovery. They have also developed a Routemap to Transformation
The site includes webinars as well as information and resources. Here is an interesting webinar that businesses can watch on reopening our high streets – something prudent to retail outlets and other businesses who operate in Glossop town centre,
If you are a local business owner that has accessed extra support or found any useful resources, please do share them with the community at Glossop Creates.