Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

Your Town Centre News

Welcome to our first edition of Your Town Centre News for all traders operating in the town centres of Edenbridge, Sevenoaks, Swanley, and Westerham. It will cover the latest advice for re-opening your business and how the high streets are being promoted as safe, attractive and welcoming places to visit, shop and spend time.

Reopening High Streets Safely campaign

As some of you prepare to open your doors again from Monday 12 April, we will be running another District-wide campaign to encourage visitors to safely shop and visit our town centres.

You may have seen our previous campaigns last year, with social media, signage in the high streets, media adverts, press coverage and shop wraps in the Sevenoaks town.

Our latest campaign goes a step further and features videos of local traders doing what they do best – showing off their skills, products and services in fun and inventive ways, encouraging residents and visitors to support local, safely.

We’re working with Kent-based marketing experts Pillory Barn who are reaching out to high street businesses across our four towns. If they haven’t spoken to you yet, don’t worry as everyone will have the opportunity to contribute or alternatively you can get in touch with them to express your interest.

The first phase of the campaign will be focused on retail as non-essential retail prepares to open again from 12 April. The second phase will be focused on hospitality businesses as they prepare to reopen on 17 May.

You can support the campaign by sharing our social media posts and videos on FacebookTwitter and Instagram from Tuesday 6 April.

If you’d like to get involved in our social media films, you can also drop us a line at business@sevenoaks.gov.uk

The campaign is being paid for by the EU’s ‘Reopening High Streets Safely Fund’.

 

Grant news

Financial support is still available for businesses affected by Coronavirus restrictions.

Our ‘Additional Restrictions Grant’ scheme is for any business that has been severely impacted by the periods of national lockdown. This includes businesses both with and without a business rates account as well as homebased and some mobile businesses who have had fixed costs severely affected. So far, we have been able to support businesses from a variety of sectors. This scheme remains open for the time being so please make sure you apply soon.

The Government also recently announced a ‘Restart Grant’ scheme. Further information will be available on our website and in a future newsletter once we have all the details.

View the latest grant information.

FREE rapid Coronavirus tests for businesses

You now register to order free lateral flow tests for your staff. Around 1 in 3 people with Coronavirus don’t have symptoms, which means they could be spreading the virus in workplaces without knowing.

You have until 11.59pm on Monday 12 April to register for the Government’s workplace testing scheme, which will remain free until the end of June.

Register for FREE Coronavirus test kits

FREE safe re-opening webinar

Our colleagues at Kent County Council are running a FREE webinar for any businesses who are planning to reopen from Monday 12 April.

The webinar is taking place on Friday 9 April from 1pm to 2pm and will cover:

  • Businesses that can and can’t open
  • Services you can offer
  • Preparing your business for re-opening
  • Keeping your staff and customers safe
  • The all-important availability of funding

There will be time to ask the experts questions before or during the webinar.

If you can’t make the date, a recording will be made of the event, which you can access via a link which will be sent to you.

Sign up to the seminar

Safe reopening resources

If you’re getting ready to reopen after a prolonged closure, there’s a lot to think about.

But, if you’re looking for safety advice in one place, you may want to visit the Health and Safety Executive’s Making your workplace COVID-secure during Coronavirus pages.

If you haven’t used your water or cooling systems for a while, there may be a risk of Legionnaires’ disease. Find out more about Legionnaires’ disease and how to prevent it.

Contract extension for Town Centre Ambassadors

Our Town Centres Ambassadors are out-and-about in the high streets whatever the weather answering questions and ensuring that COVID-safety guidance is being followed.

The good news is their contracts have been extended until Monday 31 May, so they’ll be around to support you for a while longer. If you see them in your high street, please do say hello!

What do you think of this newsletter?

Get in touch at business@sevenoaks.gov.uk

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