Reopening the High Street
So that we can support businesses and residents alike as lockdown restrictions are eased and more businesses are able to open, it is important for us to know how residents are feeling about returning to shops, cafes, pubs, restaurants, salons and so on.
To help support our local businesses, South Cambridgeshire District Council have recruited two new High Street Business Support Officers. From small to medium businesses, these officers are here specially to aid you in being fully prepared to welcome back customers and be confident about staying open and continuing to serve your community during the times of COVID-19.
Since early July they have been visiting local businesses, offering support and guidance and signposting. They are also distributing window and floor stickers, posters and leaflets which support the Council's Shop local, Shop safe message. If you believe that you may have been missed or they have not yet gotten to your business and you feel like you need urgent help or clarification on anything, feel free to contact the team using our email, Reopening@scambs.gov.uk, and we can get in contact regarding a visit.
Things our High Street Support Officers can help with include:
- Making sure your premises is properly set up for social distancing
- Ensuring you are effectively using the test & trace system
- You have the proper cleaning and hygiene protocols in place
- Explaining COVID risk assessment
- Outbreak management
- Best practice to keep up to date with guidance changes
Please also make the most of this visit to ask questions about things you feel we may not have covered and share any views with our officers, particularly on what else we could do to support businesses.
This has been made possible by the allocation of funding by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support Reopening of the High Street, which aims to strengthen economic and social cohesion. More information on the ERDF can be online.
TheFlower Boutique, Linton:
When the government legislation changed, requiring customers to wear face coverings in shops, the business owner of The Flower Boutique contacted us for support. We were able to provide printed resources including council signage reminding customers to wear face coverings when entering the store. In addition, we were able to offer further clarification for the business owner regarding the Test & Trace procedure for employers (should she be contacted by NHS Test & Trace, a staff member, a customer or the local Public Health England Health Protection Team (PHE HPT) to inform of either a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19), instilling confidence that she is fully aware of her responsibilities, should this happen.
The Old School House Rooms, Waterbeach:
The business owner of The Old School House Rooms was seeking further clarification regarding the procedure for self-isolation, should a guest staying at her accommodation develop COVID-19 symptoms during their stay. We were able to signpost the business owner to the correct government guidance and make suggestions for adapting the booking and/or check-in process, to ensure that her customers were aware of the procedure from the beginning of their stay at The Old School House Rooms.
Third Generation Hair Studio,Melbourn:
When the government guidance changed, requiring staff in close contact services such as hairdressers, barbershops and beauty salons to wear both a visor and Type II face mask, the business owner contacted us for advice concerning the implications this would have for customers and team members who are hearing impaired. We were able to signpost the business owner to the relevant guidance surrounding exemptions and reassure her that by law it is acceptable for a team member to remove their face covering, should they be speaking to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate.
Willingham Auctions Café
In addition to signposting the business owner towards further funding opportunities - such as the Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF), and organisations providing further support - such as the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Growth Hub, we were able to answer specific questions the business owner had regarding the “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme and which of the Willingham Auction Café’s offerings were eligible.
Small to medium sized, customer-facing business in South Cambridgeshire are invited to fill in a short online survey about reopening your business. You can ask our team your questions about reopening, and let us know what support you need.
Questions include what operational changes businesses have already made and what they may be planning to make. You can also share whether you have any wider concerns about reopening to do with signage and crowd control etc., and how the Council could provide additional support, such as through communication to residents.
We have set out some useful guidance for businesses about what to consider when reopening and working within a Covid-secure environment. This includes Government guidance, suggested checklists, template signage and more.
Ask your District Councillors and MPs
On Wednesday 8 July we held an online Greater Cambridge Business Forum (in partnership with Cambridge City Council) for high street businesses to ask questions to District Councillors and our local MPs. Please check this page for information about future forums.
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