Published: Thursday, 11th June 2020
As the lockdown eases, the Government has said more retailers can reopen again from 15 June – a relief for businesses and eager shoppers.
Over the last three months, Sevenoaks District Council’s business rates and economic development teams has been supporting traders across the District with the allocation of over £22 million in grants and other financial support.
Now, as we move from response to recovery, businesses and the District Council are pulling together to make the shopping centres of Edenbridge, Sevenoaks, Swanley and Westerham as safe as possible as more shops prepare to reopen their doors.
Shops and retailers have put in extra safety measures in place, including screens, floor markings and upping their cleaning schedules as they put the safety of their customers to the top of their shopping lists. Businesses have put in new procedures to limit the number of people in their store at any one time to help with social distancing.
And it’s not just businesses who have been making changes, the Council has too.
Teams from across the Council are offering help and advice for businesses who want to open as safely as possible and a Coronavirus support pack is being delivered to traders in the four town centres.
In the coming days, the Council will install additional litter bins making it easier for shoppers to dispose of their waste and disposable gloves and masks. It also has plans to install public hand sanitiser stations too.
Town centre cleaning schedules are being prioritised with resources deployed to empty litter bins and sweep the streets regularly.
Local cleaning firm Wettons is providing some of their staff for free to support cleaning in Sevenoaks town.
Cllr Peter Fleming, Leader of Sevenoaks District Council, says: “The past few months have clearly been incredibly difficult for many within our communities and our towns businesses have felt the impact. We moved quickly to get the financial and other support out the door and into the bank accounts of eligible businesses. We are now going to do everything we can to support our traders as the lockdown is eased.
“We want shoppers to feel safe when they come to our towns and we know our businesses have invested heavily in making their shops safe for their customers and staff.
“So we are doing our bit with extra investments in services, extra bins and more cleaning.
“Our teams have been working tirelessly to keep the weekly refuse and recycling collections going and our towns clean. Both have been difficult, we have seen record levels of household waste and recycling and the fire at Dunbrik has made the task even harder. Couple this with the good weather, easing of lockdown and huge numbers of visitors to the District, we have been stretched.
“The very generous offer from Wettons to support our teams in Sevenoaks is fantastic and a real example of how we are all coming together to get the town safely open for business.”