A new video, produced specifically to advise retail businesses in Kent on the new COVID-19 regulations concerning re-opening safely, has been launched .
The COVID-19 Business Support Hotline, run by the Kent and Medway Growth Hub, has received many enquiries from businesses asking about the new guidelines and how they can make sure they are following them correctly.
The Kent & Medway Growth Hub forms part of the South East Business Hub, the South East Local Enterprise Partnership’s overarching business support programme, which also supports local hubs in East Sussex and Essex, Southend and Thurrock
The video, produced by the Growth Hub in partnership with KCC Trading Standards, Dartford and Sevenoaks Environmental Health Partnership, Kent Fire and Rescue Service and South East Water, summarises the key points of the guidelines for retail businesses.
It offers guidance on which types of business are allowed to reopen, which COVID-19 social-distancing and safety guidelines they should follow, fire regulations, how to make sure a store is safe as they re-open and how to make changes to the layout.
There are also links to tools for businesses, such as a sign they should clearly display in their store to show their employees, customers and other visitors that they have followed COVID-19 guidance. There will also be signposts and links to further guidance.
The COVID-19 Business Support Hotline number is 03333 602300 and phone lines are open from 8:30am – 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Businesses who are looking to diversify or trade differently, for example start selling new products that maybe imported from abroad or start selling their goods online, should seek free advice from Trading Standards.
To request free COVID-19 related advice from Trading Standards go to www.kentpublicprotection.info/free-business-advice.
The video can be seen here: https://bit.ly/trade-safely-video
Further help and advice for businesses was also available during a live Question and Answer session via the internet on Tuesday (15 June). The panel included Nathan Martin from Trading Standards, Annie Sargent from the Dartford and Sevenoaks Environmental Health Partnership and Tudor Price from the Kent and Medway Growth Hub.
Mike Whiting, KCC’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “The past few months have obviously been a particularly worrying time for many businesses. They have not only had to cope with the impact of COVID-19 on their businesses, but they have also had to contend with planning for the future as the lockdown is gradually eased.
“I hope this video will give them some guidance on how to cope with the latest situation and that bosses also took advantage of the Q and A session if they had any specific concerns.”
Mike Hill, the Cabinet member for Community and Regulatory Services said: “Over the past few weeks our Public Protection Group, including KCC Trading Standards, have been busy offering free advice to businesses about how to follow the various rules and regulations around their operations.
“The situation is now changing on a regular basis and it is important the businesses continue to keep up with those changes and take advantage of the advice on offer.”