Monday, September 21st, 2020

Stores and businesses in towns throughout Sevenoaks District prepare to welcome back shoppers on 15 June

As the lockdown eases, the Government has said more retailers can reopen again from Monday 15 June which will come as a relief for businesses and shoppers.

Janice Walker outside Grace in London Road Sevenoaks

Sevenoaks District Council’s business rates and economic development teams say they have been supporting traders across the District over the last three months with the allocation of over £22 million in grants and other financial support.

Traders, businesses and the District Council are now pulling together to make the shopping centres of Sevenoaks, Edenbridge Swanley and Westerham as safe as possible as more stores and high street outlets prepare to reopen their doors.

Deepak prepares for customers at Chocs on the Green in Westerham

Shops and retailers have put extra safety measures in place, including screens, floor markings and more frequent cleaning schedules. There are also new procedures to limit the number of people in stores at any one time to help with social distancing.

Teams from across Sevenoaks District 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.

Sue is ready to welcome customers at Bradfords in Edenbridge

Town centre cleaning schedules are being prioritised with resources deployed to empty litter bins and sweep the streets regularly. Sevenoaks-based cleaning firm Wettons is providing some of their staff for free to support cleaning in the town.

Cllr Peter Fleming, Leader of Sevenoaks District Council, said: “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.

Darren outside Decorators Den which is located in the Park Road Industrial Estate in Swanley

“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.”

Members of the District Council cleaning team in Blighs meadow, Sevenoaks

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