Published on 14 April 2021
Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire councils have gone live with an initiative to support businesses to show they're doing the right things to be COVID safe for customers and staff.
The Business Pledge is aimed at all businesses across the sub-region, including shops, factories, offices and eventually hospitality, as a way of reassuring staff and customers that businesses and venues are operating in a COVID-secure manner.
The Pledge has been developed to support businesses as England takes the next step on the roadmap out of lockdown.
It is entirely voluntary, but by signing up to the Pledge, businesses are making a positive statement that they are following the relevant guidelines and are putting in place measures to ensure their premises are COVID-secure to safeguard the health and wellbeing of employees and visitors alike.
The pledge covers social distancing, face coverings, ventilation, vaccination, testing and isolating, employee health and well-being and risk assessments.
Warwickshire County Council has worked in partnership with BIDs and local councils of Warwickshire, including Stratford District Council, as well as a range of local agencies to ensure a comprehensive support to local businesses.
Warwickshire businesses can sign-up to the Business Pledge here
Here they will be able to read and take the pledge, sign up for information on business support, and access the Business Pledge poster and some social media collateral so they can show their business and premises support the necessary measures to be COVID-secure.
In addition, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises in Warwickshire who sign up will get access to the County Council's Employee Assistance Programme, offering staff and business leaders information and a confidential telephone number for help with mental health and well-being.
Monica Fogarty, Chief Executive of Warwickshire County Council, said: "We want to work with businesses and offer whatever support we can to ensure their re-opening and ongoing operation is as successful as possible. The launch coincides with the next round of business re-openingSs this week, many of which are town centre businesses.
"The Business Pledge is our way of encouraging businesses to do the right thing and demonstrate to their customers - our residents - that it is safe to shop and do business."
Lee Osborne Federation of Small Businesses Development Manager Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull said: "The confirmation that the next step on the road to recovery will go ahead this week is welcome news. Our high streets and local centres are the lifeblood of our local communities and it is positive that many of our small businesses will be able to re-open.
"Many small business owners have spent significant amounts in adapting their business and putting in measures to make their premises safe. The pledge is therefore a helpful initiative for businesses to demonstrate that they are doing the right thing and following best practice to help reassure both staff and customers. This has been an unbelievably tough year for small firms and now more than ever they need our support, in any way we can."
Louise Bennett OBE, Chief Executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, added: "Some workers and shoppers have not ventured into the city centre for the best part of a year because of COVID, so this next stage of the government's roadmap out of lockdown is a significant one for everybody.
"Our businesses have been working incredibly hard to ensure they are COVID-19 secure, and it is vital that we work together to restore business and consumer confidence. By applying for the Pledge, they can show that shopping, visiting businesses, or returning to work, really can be a safe and enjoyable experience."
Sarah Windrum, Chair of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: "Businesses of all types are committed to ensuring the safety of their staff and customers and the Business Pledge allows them to publicly commit to that ambition as we start to resume a more normal way of life."
Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Tel: 01789 267575