Opening Your Small Business Again Following Lockdown

New Safety Guidelines For Retail and Leisure Businesses

Are you planning to reopen your business mid-June? Building a strategy for security and safety should be a top priority before you recommence trading.

As the government has announced plans for non-essential shops and hospitality businesses to be allowed to reopen from June 15th, it seems as though the UK is tentatively exiting formal lockdown. What does this mean for your business? With social distancing measures still in place, if you do plan to reopen mid-June, then you’ll need to make sure that your business has adjusted to the challenges of the times. This includes keeping up with the necessary regulations to ensure that your customers and all members of the public can be protected from the spread of Covid-19. Here’s what you need to consider.

Securing Your Business

Once criminals are aware that you’re trading again, they might be attracted to your business due to the promise of cash or other valuable assets on your premises. It’s therefore essential to make sure that you have the necessary security in place to protect your reopened business from the threat of an attack. Make use of CCTV and intrusion detection solutions as well as fitting out your premises with strong security doors to keep out any opportunist thieves. Premier Doors explains that the best doors in the industry are those that have achieved Secured by Design accreditation, which backed by the police.

New Safety Guidance

The Prime Minister is supplying the retail sector with new official guidance to ensure that businesses are doing everything they can to enforce social distancing during the pandemic. This will include providing hand sanitiser for every customer that enters the shop and to avoid touching items before purchasing them. Additionally, they must put up signs reminding customers of their responsibilities to stay at least 2m away from a fellow shopper. You can implement a one-way route around your business premises, using signs, cones or floor tape to assist with this.

Where customers still have the right to return unwanted shopping, these items should be held for a minimum of 72 hours. Following this time, they may be placed back on the shelves for other shoppers to pick up, thus preventing the spread of germs. For the same reason, shop changing rooms will remain closed for now.

Carrying Out Risk Assessments

In advance of mid-June, retailers should use the time wisely to make sure that their stores are both secure and compliant with the new safety regulations. You should conduct a detailed assessment to determine the risks to your own workforce as well as members of the public who enter your place of business. You may wish to seek legal advice or discuss your plans with your employees as well as trade unions.

Increasing Hygiene Levels

One of your top priorities should be cleanliness and hygiene. As well as encouraging regular handwashing for employees and the use of sanitiser for customers, you should also provide times during the day when you, or your staff can thoroughly disinfect contact areas including seating, counter surfaces and shelves. This may mean closing your place of business early to carry out a deep clean, or adding on extra staff hours to assist with cleaning afterwards.

As the challenges of the pandemic are new to all of us, it’s important for business owners to be able to adapt quickly. If something doesn’t appear to be working, then you should look to find an alternative solution which still allows you to comply with safety regulations. Remember to keep your team onside by frequently checking in with them about how they’re finding things. Their mental and physical wellbeing must be assured as your business reopens once again.


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