Date issued: 20 March 2020
A digital directory signposting businesses across the borough to vital information to mitigate the impact of national advice to help tackle the spread of COVID-19, has been set up by Colchester Borough Council.
Companies, retailers, restaurants, pubs and clubs have all been affected by the Government’s advice on avoiding mass gatherings and practising social distancing introduced as part of its action plan to tackle the virus.
The council is committed to helping businesses of all sizes through this unprecedented period and has set up the special pages as part of its online COVID-19 information www.colchester.gov.uk/coronavirus
It currently includes links to the information on the support the national Government is intending to provide firms facing the brunt of the steps being taken. The directory will be updated as any information that may be useful for local businesses becomes available and support is firmed up.
As the roles of local authorities in helping to manage and provide some of this support – for example business rate relief – becomes clearer, this will be added to these pages. The council will also work with partners to ensure as many businesses as possible are fully aware of the support on offer and how to access it.
The council is also setting up a special telephone line for businesses wanting to get a greater understanding of the help and support on offer through business rates reliefs and grants. Any companies wanting advice can call 01206 282300.
Councillor David King, Portfolio Holder for Business and Resources, said: “The coronavirus outbreak is the biggest public health emergency in a generation. As well as the vast impact it is having on our health service, the significant issues facing our businesses and hospitality industries are also stark.
“Throughout this crisis, the council will do all we can to ensure our vital services keep going and that we support our communities and businesses. The hub of information on our website is key to awareness of the support available for businesses and how they will be able to access them. We are here to help now and as information and events change.”
Leader of the Council, Cllr Mark Cory, added: “Government advice will increasingly restrict activity. This is right and needs to happen to protect us all. Advice for businesses will continue to change, so we urge all companies to keep checking our website pages. We will also ensure we proactively get the messages out to businesses to offer support.”