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Council support to Horsham businesses during lockdown


12 May 2020


Throughout the coronavirus crisis Horsham District Council has adhered to government guidance and restrictions regarding the opening of and access to local retail outlets and businesses and will continue to support its local businesses based on medical advice.

Our current focus is on supporting our businesses and enabling them to adapt to the changing economic environment.

Research

We have an ongoing fortnightly survey running with local businesses to monitor impact, trends and provide appropriate support as needed.

The Council’s Economic Development team invites all businesses to keep us informed about what they are doing and their plans so we can support them as required and help to publicise their initiatives. Please email us at: businessdevelopment@horsham.gov.uk

Online support

Many local businesses have responded to the situation by being innovative in their distribution methods. The Council’s Environmental Health and Economic Development teams have provided advice on how to switch to online sales solutions, using click and collect and home delivery services, whilst amending and observing health and safety measures regarding food labelling and packaging. Ongoing advice is available.

We will continue to support the operation and development of www.essentialhorsham.online operated by Visit Horsham as a reliable online directory of which businesses are open for trade, whether online or offline across Horsham District.

We have launched a series of online promotional prize quizzes that direct people to visit local shops, business websites and social media pages to discover the answers.

A very successful local gin competition has just finished and it is being followed by further quizzes including local farm shops, wine, beer, chocolate and pub food.

We are also introducing weekly interactive online business support sessions that will cover a range of topics hosted by local business support specialists. Topics planned include, effective use of video and social media in the current environment, simple online order processing and payment options and re-opening your business safely.

Markets

Throughout the crisis, the Council has directed its markets in the Carfax and Bishopric to focus on essential produce, employing social distancing safety layouts on Saturdays. We have also supported the operators to set up an online click and collect ordering system and home delivery options. These have been highly successful with nearly 1,000 orders received and processed over the last six weeks and providing another valuable safe shopping option for locals.

Photography

In preparation for post lockdown we are commissioning a programme of photography of local attractions and businesses to ensure that we are well equipped to relaunch our promotional campaigns for Discover Horsham District and local food and drink experiences and activities.

We will continue to monitor the changes to the Government’s advice and adapt our business support procedures accordingly.

For media queries please email press@horsham.gov.uk .