Epsom & Ewell Borough Council has been working hard to ensure that local businesses have received the support they need throughout the pandemic.
Councillor Eber Kington, Chairman of the Strategy and Resources Committee said “COVID-19 has had a significant and unprecedented impact on all aspects of life in this country, including on business and employment.
“In Epsom and Ewell, our local businesses have shown great resilience and adaptability throughout the pandemic and have continued to operate in very challenging circumstances. We are proud to see how our local shops, restaurants and other businesses have been putting in place all the necessary measures to operate safely and provide employment for local people. Through their efforts, our shopping areas are a safe and welcoming place to visit.
“I am grateful to residents who have supported their local shops and restaurants and who buy local whenever they can.
“While the Council has been busy managing the emergency situation and keeping essential services going, we have also taken a range of positive actions to support local businesses and their continued recovery.
“We recognise the importance of working together, and we are determined to stick with the commitments we have made to support and invest in the local economy. We want to ensure that the local economy emerges stronger than before and continues to contribute to the vibrancy and prosperity of the borough”.
Karen Pengelly, the BID Manager from the independent Go Epsom stated “2020 has been an extraordinary year; Epsom’s business community is demonstrating outstanding resilience and adaptability, qualities needed for the duration of this pandemic. With no pandemic handbook in existence, Go Epsom, the Business Improvement District, has welcomed the manner in which the Council has handled business support, the approach throughout has been to enable, support and assist, it has been exactly what was needed.”
Councillor Kington was speaking after last night’s Strategy and Resources Committee which discussed the importance of the local economy and the proactive approach the Council was taking to support local business during the pandemic. These have included:
- Administering the payment of grants totalling £10million to over 700 small businesses
- Establishing a High Streets Task Force with support from Go Epsom, Surrey Police, the county council and major businesses, to help with the safe recovery of the boroughs retail and hospitality areas
- Working with GLL to support the re-opening of the Rainbow Leisure Centre
- Engaging with Job Centre Plus to ensure that residents whose jobs could be impacted by the pandemic have to access to effective support in accessing new employment opportunities
- Contacting over 100 restaurants and food business as national restrictions started to be lifted, providing relevant information and guidance to support the safe re-starting of their businesses operations, including advice on dealing with other health and safety risks such as legionella
- Engaging with all the borough’s pubs and bars to support their safe re-opening and ongoing COVID Secure operation
- Providing fact sheets and posters for local letting agents and landlords of houses in multiple occupation on COVID-19 issues
- Completion of major elements of the Plan E investment programme, including the Market Place to create the best possible environment for local businesses and their customers
- Introducing new Epsom open air markets and safe operation of the existing markets to encourage visitors into the town centre
- Developing and launching a new scheme to support local restaurants and cafes that want to make use of the space outside their premises
- Working with the county council to deliver the temporary extensions to the footway on the Northern High Street in Epsom to provide additional pedestrian and queuing space
- Establishing a team of Borough Wardens to provide reassurance, advice and guidance to visitors and local businesses, and to ensure that borough and its high streets continue to be a safe and welcoming place to visit.