The Leader of Solihull Council has declared Solihull ‘Open for Business’ as part of the borough-wide campaign to get people supporting their local centres and high streets.
Solihull Council and partners such as Solihull Business Improvement District (BID), Visit Knowle and Chelmsley Wood Shopping Centre have been working together to support the borough’s main local centres to offer guidance. This has included practical support such as pavement stickers to promote socially distanced queueing and an online ‘Store Tracker’ to promote re-opening and those selling online locally.
A campaign will also be started across the borough to encourage people to use their local high street and to think local and support local. The Council has been sharing information to remind businesses reopening of the measures needed to make them Covid-safe.
Councillor Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council said:
“Retailers and local businesses have spent weeks putting in place measures to make their premises Covid-19 safe. Now more and more bars, restaurants, hairdressers and other businesses are reopening it means centres across the borough will be declaring 'We’re open for business'.
“Now it’s down to customers and consumers to get out and support their local centres. And with the Chancellor’s ‘Eat out to help out’ initiative there’re no better time to do that.
“There’s a well-known phrase that particularly applies to our independent retailers and service providers at the moment and that’s 'use it or lose it'. We must think and support local.”
Melanie Palmer, Chief Executive of Solihull BID said:
“The latest government guidelines have enabled the final sectors of the town centre to reopen which will trigger a steady flow of much needed revenue into those businesses affected by the closures. We are working hard, along with key partners, to reassure the public, employees and visitors that our safe, clean and well managed town centre is very much open and looking forward to welcoming you back.
“With our robust ‘shop local, stay safe’ campaign under way I am confident that Solihull will show its strength, resilience and pride in not only out-performing its competitor towns but will once again be the one to watch, ahead of the curve.”
Councillor Karen Grinsell, Deputy Leader of Solihull Council said:
“In Shirley we were working closely with businesses to push forward a refreshed economic development plan before the Covid-19 pandemic intervened and have been providing them with materials such as the ERDF-funded pavement stickers to support the centre as it re-opens for business.
“As a Council we are putting in place a borough-wide economic recovery plan to support centres to get back on their feet and continue to be the beating heart of their local communities. This is alongside the financial support to the hospitality industry to keep them going during the lockdown.
“Shirley is most definitely 'open for business'."
Kim Hulse, from Visit Knowle, said:
“It’s been a team effort in Knowle. The floor stickers have been extremely well received by businesses and our followers have really appreciated the updates we have given on places that are now open. We look forward to more people coming back to Knowle, where we have a fabulous array of businesses and we're happy to be part of the borough-wide campaign to "support local". Knowle is most definitely 'open for business'."
The Reopening High Streets Safely Fund is providing £50 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to councils across England to support the safe reopening of high streets and other commercial areas.