Council to spend share of £50 million to support businesses reopening

Support packs, including social distancing posters and floor decals, are being delivered to businesses after SNC was allocated up to £83,000 to support the reopening of shops.

Published: Friday, 12th June 2020

With the Government set to allow retail businesses to reopen on Monday, 15 June, SNC is urging business owners to follow government guidance on how to reopen their businesses safely.

Funding to support the reopening of businesses comes from the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

Cllr Dermot Bambridge, SNC’s portfolio holder for environmental services, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenging time for business owners, facing forced closures, financial pressures and staff shortages.

“It is understandable that the prospect of reopening with new safety measures in place may cause some concern.

“And it’s not just about Covid-19 protection - there are issues like ensuring that water systems are safe as there is a risk of Legionnaires’ disease from water system stagnation.

“We’re asking businesses to read through the Government advice for their particular sector and our Environmental Health team are ready to answer any questions which arise.”

Cllr Stephen Clarke, SNC’s portfolio holder for growth and regeneration, said: “Small businesses are an essential component of the local economy.  Our high street retail outlets employ local people, supply important services, and are key to encouraging visitors to the district.

“We will be working hard to support them and get the South Northants economy back up and running.”

All business owners have a legal duty to ensure the safety of staff and other persons in the workplace, and this duty includes reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

The Government has produced guidance for different types of business to help them assess risks and work safely during the pandemic.

Businesses which reopen will not be inspected automatically, but the Government advice requires them to display a poster at their entrance confirming they have read and implemented the guidance. The SNC Environmental Health Team can be reached via HEP@southnorthants.gov.uk or 01327 322312.

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Notes: European Regional Development Fund

The project could received up to £83,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF. Established by the European Union ERDF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding