Update: New national restrictions come into force on Thursday 5 November which will affect the way high street businesses operate. For up to date business support and guidance, please visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support
The borough of Epsom and Ewell has a vibrant retail economy which has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Updates will be shared through the council’s monthly business newsletter. If you do not already receive a copy and would like to do so in the future, you can become part of our mailing list.
Important information you need to know
General retail business information
Hospitality, close contact services and leisure businesses are legally required to enforce the rule of 6 including NHS QR code posters and contact logs. If you don't, you could face a possible fine of £1000 up to £4000. For more information, please read this press release on the government website.
Types of venues who will be legally obliged to display a QR poster are:
- Hospitality – bars, restaurants, hotels, cafes
- Tourism and Leisure – museums, galleries, gyms, leisure centres
- Local authority buildings
- Places of worship
- Close contact services
- Where an event is taking place in a physical location
Guides and handbooks
The NHS has a comprehensive page of information and resources to support visitors at your business or organisation. These resources can be shared by email, hosted on your website or displayed at your venue.
The government has produced guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic. There are 12 guides which cover a range of different types of work. You may have to refer to more than one guide.
You can also read more information about staying alert and safe (social distancing) after 4 July
5 Steps to Working Safely
The Government have created a practical action plan to help businesses reopen based on five simple steps. These are:
- Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment
- Develop cleaning, hand washing and hygiene procedures
- Help people to work from home (where possible)
- Maintain 2m social distancing, where possible
- Where people cannot be 2m apart, manage transmission risk
Please follow this link to a page on GOV UK which sets these steps out in more detail.
Businesses should display a poster to show that they’ve taken all five steps into account – please follow this link to download the poster.
The Government have also released specific advice for shops and branches to help them reopen. You can find that advice by following this link.
Businesses are responsible for the queueing arrangements outside of their shops. Within the ‘Working Safely during coronavirus (COVID19)’ guidance, the Government state that business owners should be prepared to manage the queues outside their premises. This is to ensure that they do not cause a risk to individuals or to other businesses.
As well as physically indicating where queue lines should form (for example with posters on windows), these ideas may be helpful:
- Work with your neighbouring businesses on staggered opening and closing times. This may help to spread out demand
- Explore how customers can safely queue inside your shops, maintaining social distancing but reducing the need for queues to form on the street
- Consider opening slightly earlier or later to help customers shop with you throughout the day
- Provide a member of staff to manage the queue
Guide for safe shopping
The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health have produced a short guide for the public on how to keep themselves safe while they shop.
The guide can be downloaded by following this link. It may be useful to read to know what the public are being encouraged to do as they return to the high streets and shopping areas.
New guidance finder (online search tool)
To help employers reopen their businesses safely, the Government have launched a new tool to identify the most relevant guidance for your business. The guidance highlighted will help you carry out a risk assessment and make sensible adjustments to the site and workforce. Use this guidance finder to get tailored information about the measures you need to take to reopen your business safely.
Guidance for food businesses
The following information is useful for all businesses who are currently operating (and for owners of businesses who will be reopened soon) to be aware of.
- Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) - Restaurants offering takeaway or delivery. This comprehensive Government resource outlines everything that a food service business needs to think about in order to keep themselves – and their customers – safe.
- Adapting restaurants and food businesses for takeaway and food delivery during COVID-19. This guidance focuses on food businesses who are adapting to offer takeaway and food delivery services.
- Reopening checklist for food businesses during COVID-19. This useful list covers planning and preparation, site checks, equipment checks and more.
When you are preparing to restart your food service business, you need to contact the council to let us know of your intentions. You can do this by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
You should also be checking for any pests (especially if your business has been closed for some time). If you find any, the council can help you to get rid of them – please see our Pest Control page for more details.
It would be wise to check that your usual registered waste carrier is operating as normal. If they are not, our team may be able to assist – please see our Business Bins (Food Waste) page for more details.
General guidance on funding
The COVID-19 pandemic has left many businesses in need of financial support to ensure that they can continue trading.
We have curated a number of links which may be useful and help you to receive grants or support to which you’re entitled.
- Coronavirus support finder. This simple, step by step, Gov.uk tool helps you to navigate all of the options available: https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder
- Gov.UK – financial support for businesses during coronavirus. This resources sets out the different types of support available, including links to information about sick pay, paying tax, information for self-employed people and so on.
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) provides financial support to smaller businesses (SMEs) across the UK that are losing revenue, and seeing their cashflow disrupted, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Bounce Back Loans. Information from the Government about these loans which range from £2,000 up to 25% of your turnover
- EEBC Business Grants and support. Your council offers a wide range of support to businesses of all sizes.
General guidance on staying safe
There is a wealth of information available about how you can keep yourself, your staff and your customers safe.
The following links bring together a section of that information from the Government as well as the Health and Safety Executive.
- Guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (Covid-19) infection. This document clearly sets out what you – or your staff – should do if they or anyone else in their household is unwell.
- HSE Guidance on working safely during the coronavirus outbreak. This covers a wide range of information, applicable for all businesses. This resource also gives advice on how to talk to employees about working safely during the pandemic.
- Managing risk resources from the HSE. This wide-ranging website has a wide range of useful interactive tools, risk assessment templates and more to help you keep safe.
- Cleaning in non-healthcare settings. This Gov.UK resource offers helpful advice and guidance on effective cleaning for a wide range of work places. While it doesn’t specifically mention shops and retail areas, many of the principles will be directly relevant
Epsom and Ewell are open
The council, together with a number of partners including the Epsom Business Improvement District, are running a high profile campaign to support the safe reopening of our high streets and shopping areas. This was announced with a short news story: Task Force to support safe, welcoming retail reopening
Printed material to support this campaign will include posters for high streets, shopping areas and other spaces throughout the borough. The campaign aims to support small and medium sized businesses as they reopen and create consumer confidence that our retail areas are safe, welcoming places to visit.
The campaign is being financially supported by the European Regional Development Fund and HM Government.
You can download these posters to use in your own premises
If you would like to support the social media campaign, please feel free to download and share the below social media assets. Using the #OpenInEpsom, #OpenInEwell or #OpenInStoneleigh hashtags will help your messages to become part of the overall campaign and get the message to more people.
- Shop smart - Facebook banner
- Shop smart - Facebook banner with icons
- Shop smart - Twitter banner
- Shop smart - Twitter banner with icons
- Shop smart - Instagram landscape
- Shop smart - Instagram portrait
- Shop smart - Instagram portait with icons
- Add your message - blank social media post
Or feel free to use any of the following themed graphics:
Test and Trace action cards
The NHS (along with support from the Joint Biosecurity Centre) have published a revised set of Test and Trace ‘action cards’. These cards aim to provide signposting of clear guidance about community protection actions for a range of common scenarios.
- Consumer Workplace Action Cards
- Education Action Cards
- Food & Drink Actions Cards
- Industrial Workplaces Action Cards
- Institutions Action Cards
- Travel Action Cards
For more information, including previously published materials, please visit the Public Health England website.