Brighouse business team in awe of how shops have adapted during pandemic crisis
Shops in Brighouse are preparing to re-open on June 15 and hoping that shoppers will come flooding back into the town.
All non-essential shops were ordered to close on March 23 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but as part of the easing of restrictions, they are allowed to open up again from June 15.
Gareth Betts, owner of Betts Interiors in Brighouse, said: "Someone who works on the logistics side with me is coming into my business premises to set everything up so we've got all the restrictions in place and we make sure everyone is working in a good and safe way.
"Going into customers' houses is a difficulty, a, if the customer allows us to come in and, b, if our guys doing the work are comfortable going into the property.
"We've got customers saying 'can you carry on with work' but it's not as easy as that because we can't put everyone at risk.
Mr Betts says independent shops need support more than ever at the moment.
"I think a lot of local businesses are struggling, so the more people who go back to the local, independent stores the better because they're the ones that are suffering the most.
"A lot of the big companies are cleaning up, and if you're not careful, a lot of the independents will go."
Brighouse BID said: "We are in awe of the way businesses in Brighouse have diversified due to this unprecedented global crisis.
"We have known for a while that high streets were likely to evolve unrecognisably over the next ten years due to the shift in consumer behaviour and digital adoption.
"This crisis has fast-forwarded that evolution exponentially. The next generation of the high street will need to embrace technology and have data at the heart of its decision making.
"There will be a surge in demand once our movement restrictions are lifted and we believe that people will be more inclined to continue to shop local rather than driving to retail parks or larger cities.
"We urge you to please continue to support your local high street, because now more than ever local businesses need your support.
"We all want our high street to survive, supporting local businesses makes your neighbourhood and town a better place and it means the world to them.
"Brighouse BID has been busy reacting to the pandemic as well as planning for the future of the town centre. Here are just some of the ways we have helped the businesses already open or planning to open:
"BID have been sending out regular updates, providing our levy payers with useful business-related advice such as grant information, Government guidelines and upskilling throughout lockdown. You can sign up to receive this emails at http://www.brighousebid.co.uk/contact/
"We have a dedicated page on our BID website to help with any questions or queries
"Brighouse BID have quickly adapted existing technology to use in new and creative ways. Changing our LoyalFree app so that users can now access a trail which informs them which businesses and services are still operating during this challenging time.
"We are also about to launch the LoyalFree Marketplace, an online marketplace where businesses can list and sell items for free. This allows us to continue to support businesses during the Coronavirus outbreak. The marketplace can be seen here: https://www.loyalfreemarketplace.co.uk/.
"The BID team have remained available throughout lockdown via phone, email or video conferencing
"BID have hosted Facebook live Q&A sessions to put your questions to the experts, to get expert analysis and the latest news
"And lastly BID have embarked on a Town Recovery Plan. Our plan includes improving the appeal and attraction of Brighouse for the benefit of all businesses operating in our BID boundary, helping and supporting businesses that have had to temporarily close and/or reorganise their trading model, providing a managed, rapid and effective recovery for our town centre after the extended period of shutdown, and optimising the overall experience for consumers on returning to use Brighouse.
"Please know that Brighouse BID is there to support you and your Brighouse business."
#SupportLocal - Is your business reopening on Monday?
We would like to share your stories about your businessm what it has been like and how you are preparing to reopen. Also if you have been one of the traders which has kept your shop open during lockdown we would love to hear from you and what it has been like for you.
Email your stories to [email protected] so we can help promote your shop and let our readers know you are open for business.