'Re-open kits' for town centre shops

Dessie Blackadder

Reporter:

Dessie Blackadder

Around 160 ‘Retail COVID-19 Support Packs’ will be distributed to town centre businesses in Ballymena to help to ensure a safe re-opening to the public.

The pack will include; guidance on social distancing and infection control, posters for display, checklists to ensure employee and customer safety, useful contacts and infection control products.

Council is working with its partners to develop a recovery plan for the three town centres across the Mid & East Antrim Borough.

Through the town centre recovery programme the town centre team (along with its partners) is working to support the local business community to increase footfall, create and protect jobs, attract investment and nurture new and existing businesses as they find the road to recovery.

Council has also committed to establishing a Town Centre Recovery Task Group that will focus on supporting our town centre businesses through a multi-disciplinary approach.

The task force will drive forward plans to ensure that town centre businesses are supported in the months ahead and that customer safety is priority.

Outgoing Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Maureen Morrow, said: “These packs are just a small way that Council can help local businesses to feel safe in preparing to reopen to the public.

“This has been an incredibly difficult time for our local businesses in Mid and East Antrim and I hope that they will all come back stronger than ever.”

Alderman Audrey Wales MBE, who represents the Council on Ballymena BID and is former president of Ballymena Chamber of Commerce, said: “I am heartened that everyone is working tirelessly to do all they can to protect vital public services and prepare for what is to come in the weeks and months ahead.

“Our absolute priority is to protect life and this is just one of the steps that we can take to help local businesses as they work to reopen in a safe, responsible way that provides reassurance to customers.”

Councillor Eugene Reid, who is Vice President of Ballymena Chamber of Commerce, added: “We understand and share some the concerns that businesses have and this is a small way in which Council is helping to alleviate those worries. Our shared goal is that we have a new normal as soon as it is safe, but only when it is safe.”

If you are a business and would like to register for the retail ready kit please email the Town Centre Team Rachael.Kearns@midandeastantrim.gov.uk

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