New measures to safely boost local businesses and protect shoppers

With non-essential shops set to reopen from 29 June 2020, Inverclyde Council is throwing its weight behind local businesses in an effort to safely stimulate the economy in the wake of the Covid 19 outbreak.

Councillor Michael McCormick, Convener of Inverclyde Council’s Environment & Regeneration Committee said, “With social and physical distancing rules still in place across Scotland, it is important that people visiting our town centres are safe and that we support local businesses and their customers.

“One immediate area is that the width of many pavements across Inverclyde make it difficult for customers to maintain social and physical distancing, especially as there is the potential for increased queuing and pedestrian activity. 

“We are putting practical measures in place to address the problem where we can and to increase the space that is available. This could mean extending the pavement area into some on-street parking spaces.

“Our aim is to encourage pedestrians to pass each other safely and allow queues to form outside premises if required.

“We must all do what we can to help customers be safe and to feel safe when visiting our town centres.”

Loading bays and disabled parking places will still be available under the scheme.  Parking enforcement has been suspended since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and will remain suspended until August.

Councillor McCormick said, “These are temporary measures to support town centre businesses to reopen safely and encourage the economy to recover.

“The changes to roads will be monitored throughout and we will be reviewing them after 14 days. We will also be contacting local businesses to see if there are any other measures we can put in in place to support them.

“In addition to this we have created a ‘one stop shop’ for businesses looking to use others spaces.  This is more likely to be requests from hospitality businesses.

“We appreciate that the rules around licensing, planning, roads and environmental health can feel overwhelming from the outside and our aim is to help to steer businesses through these, particularly with the national guidance in place for business as part of the covid-19 measures.

“Our business development team continues to support local businesses and is available to help identify grants and other practical support.

“We will also be launching a new ‘stay safe, shop local’ campaign to encourage shoppers across our town centres as part of the recovery plans for Inverclyde as more shops and parts of the economy reopen.”