News release from 16/06/2020

SMEs urged ‘Help us to help you’ by sharing reopening stories

With some non-essential businesses reopening this week for the first time in three months, South Cambridgeshire District Council is urging all customer-facing SMEs to complete a short survey to share experiences and concerns about reopening – which the Council will use to inform the support it offers businesses over the coming months.

The survey can be completed online and only takes around five minutes to complete.

Questions include what operational changes businesses have already made and what they may be planning to make. SMEs are also asked to share whether they 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.

Cllr Bill Handley, Lead Cabinet Member for Environmental Health and Licensing (pictured below), said: “It has been truly heart-warming to see the lengths that local businesses have gone to, adapting to operating under the new Covid-secure guidelines. As these businesses get back into the swing of things, and with more businesses likely to reopen in the coming weeks, we want to know what we can do to help.

“Do you need us to help you locate signage, supplies, or guidance? Or do you need us to help get the message out to your customers about the steps you’ve already taken to make your business Covid-secure? It’s likely the retail landscape will be very different to what we knew before for many months still to come, so we want to make sure we provide the right support for the longer-term.”

The Council is recruiting business advisors who will visit customer-facing businesses in the district to provide one-to-one support, drawing on £140,000 made available to support the reopening of high streets from the European Regional Development Fund. Throughout the crisis, the Council has been regularly providing updates to all businesses that have subscribed to the Council’s Open for Business e-newsletter, and shared on the Council’s digital channels. 

Cllr Handley said: “Even before the coronavirus pandemic struck, one of the Council’s four key priorities was to help local businesses grow – and it couldn’t be more important now. Help us to help you by sharing your stories with us this week.”

All businesses are invited to subscribe to the Open for Business newsletter for information about support, funding and updated guidance.

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