C4B Chairman's Update                July 2020
Paul Barrett
Dear [salutation],   Welcome to our July newsletter. As high streets across the district gradually open up, anecdotal feedback on trading indicates that customers are returning slowly but steadily. However, it's important for businesses to remain vigilant and follow the advice being shared by Canterbury City Council and Canterbury BID, which are working together to support businesses as they emerge from lockdown. It's also vital that businesses continue to remind their own staff to maintain social distancing, cleaning regimes and hand washing while at work. Arts and culture play a key role in attracting people to the district so news of government funding is welcomed, as is funding for sustainable energy.
Cautious optimism
As pubs, restaurants and hairdressers across the district are starting to open up, signs of recovery are promising – trading data collected over the next few weeks will indicate how different sectors are performing. Canterbury City Council is continuing to work with businesses in the city centre (in conjunction with Canterbury BID) and in the coastal towns via local campaigns in Herne Bay, Tankerton and Whitstable, providing guidance on issues to do with re-opening, including communication with customers. Building consumer confidence remains key to bringing high streets back to life. High streets are being made as safe and clean as possible, with jet washing, graffiti removal, hand sanitisers in car parks, and signage reminding consumers about social distancing. The Council is also beginning to open play areas in parks, and tennis courts, while museums will be opening soon. The City Council and Canterbury BID are working on a programme for kick-starting recovery in Canterbury, Herne Bay, Whitstable and Tankerton in stages and have updated their advice and guidance on re-opening – access the new version of the information here.

For details of Canterbury BID, visit canterburybid.co.uk.

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Free support for businesses
Locate in Kent has launched a new campaign, 'Future Forward', to help SMEs through recovery. Any business can get twelve hours' direct business support for free:
www.locateinkent.com/future-forward.

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Coastal management
Social behaviour issues on sunny weekends in the coastal towns have been a matter of concern and some retailers have also reported issues with managing queues outside their premises. Support and advice is being provided by the City Council's business advisors, and businesses are being encouraged to talk to neighbours about potential pinch points. The City Council and police are working to target problem areas with a view to installing larger/additional litter bins and encouraging people to bin rubbish or take it home.

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