Free parking stays to help traders bounce back

Free parking will remain on council-owned car parks in borough town centres to help boost footfall for traders preparing to re-open their businesses next week.

Council bosses said parking charges would remain suspended until at least the end of the month to assist business owners looking to bounce back from lockdown. On Monday some businesses will be able to re-open under step two of the government’s roadmap to ease restrictions imposed to control the spread of coronavirus - including non-essential retail shops and hairdressers and nail salons.

Business bosses have been reminded to familiarise themselves with the government guidance ahead of Monday and to make sure they are Covid safe for the big re-opening.

Businesses must complete a Covid-19 risk assessment and demonstrate they have read and understand the guidelines, as well as making the necessary adjustments to their premises to make them safe. Borough residents looking forward to returning to the shops are also being urged to continue to follow the guidelines to keep themselves and others safe. Balvinder Heran, deputy chief executive, said:

"We are committed as a council to doing all we can to help borough businesses to bounce back from months of not being able to trade during lockdown. To that end, we have decided to keep free parking in place until the end of April at least to hopefully boost footfall in our town centres in the critical first few weeks of re-opening for many shops.

"We know that our residents are looking forward to returning to our town centres and high streets, and that our businesses can’t wait to welcome them back. However, we still need to adhere to the restrictions and enjoy our town centres safely.

"I would urge businesses to make sure they are Covid-safe, and for residents visiting shops to continue to follow the guidelines and hands, space, face."

Dudley borough businesses can find information, guidance and resources for reopening at dudleybusinessfirst.org.uk.

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