Morecambe shoppers urged to 'stay safe and shop local' as businesses prepare to re-open

Shoppers in Morecambe are being urged to support local traders as more and more businesses prepare to open their doors again.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Thursday, 11th June 2020, 3:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th June 2020, 4:03 pm
Morecambe is getting ready to open for business. Photo: Google Street View
Morecambe is getting ready to open for business. Photo: Google Street View

Many non-essential businesses will reopen on Monday, June 15, as long as they can meet the government social distancing guidelines.

Morecambe BID has released a constantly updated list of shops and businesses expected to open, and BID manager John O'Neill is hoping shoppers will 'stay safe and shop local'.

A series of measures and rescue packages were announced by the government for businesses and self-employed people at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March.

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Morecambe is getting ready to open for business. Photo: Google Street View

Some businesses have been able to continue trading, but many have had to furlough staff and shut their doors for at least 10 weeks.

Now that restrictions have been eased, business owners will need to work out how best they can trade based on the conditions they face in their premises.

Mr O'Neill said a lot of work has been put in to ensure people can visit the town safely.

"Early on in the crisis we ordered a good quantity of Perspex anti-spit screens and social distancing stickers, which have proven to be very popular," he said.

Morecambe is getting ready to open for business.

"We have been engaging very well with businesses and most are keen to get open again. Some have taken the time to brush up on their digital skills and have also started online trading very successfully.

"Throughout the crisis we have been in close liaison with Lancaster City Council, and have also being doing a lot of lobbying of Westminster through our local MP, David Morris, and British BIDs. In times like this it’s good to have a voice being heard in the right places.

"With the night time economy we have been working closely with Lancaster City Council and Lancashire County Council to come up with a solution for the night time economy including temporary road closures and suspending parking to allow outdoor eateries and drinking.

"In conjunction with Lancaster BID, and the major shopping centres, we are running a joint awareness campaign about “Stay safe, and shopping local”.

Morecambe is getting ready to open for business. Photo: Google Street View

"In addition, we are supporting that message with our own Morecambe campaign through stickers and social media."

Lancaster City Council has released guidance on how businesses can ensure they re-open safely.

The council has developed a package of measures so business owners have the confidence to reopen in a manner that is safe not only for customers, but for their staff and themselves.

It has uploaded a collection of documents to its website on the safety measures that need to be in place, including guidance on queue management and a coronavirus risk assessment.

There are also details of grants on offer, general business support and specific advice for food businesses.

Lancaster City Council officers will also be out and about from next week, visiting businesses to gather contact information and carry out a brief “health check” to see how they are coping and to offer specific advice.

Coun Tim Hamilton-Cox, cabinet member with responsibility for sustainable economic prosperity, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on retailers and the business community as a whole.

“With more now preparing to open we want to be able to support them to do so in a way that ensures everyone remains safe.

"We've had a number of discussions with the Lancaster and Morecambe Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) about re-opening and the council has access to limited external funding to pay for measures that enable safe trading in public places."

The advice and guidance for businesses can be found on the city council’s website or by contacting [email protected]