CEO Update from Melissa
The busiest day of last week was, as usual, Saturday with footfall of 25,680, although peak numbers of visitors were seen slightly later than normal at around 1pm.
Earlier this week I wrote to you about the priority actions needed as we move into Step 4 of the reopening roadmap. My article has now been updated to include the links to the updated working safely guidance and can be viewed here.
I spoke on Friday to West Berkshire’s Public Protection Partnership about their advice for businesses and what their enforcement officers will be focusing on as restrictions ease further. I have summarised the main points below:
Public Protection Advice
- Health & Safety Obligations: Although many of the covid safety measures will no longer be legal requirements, as an employer you still have legal obligations for Health & Safety which extend to your employees and customers. Ensure you review the updated covid working safely guidance for your sector and prepare an updated risk assessment. Your assessment of the risks and your mitigation strategy will likely depend on the typical age of your employees and customers, the vaccination status of your employees, and the levels of regular asymptomatic testing being taken up. Remember that your employees can access twice-weekly testing either at a community testing site or by ordering tests to be delivered. Put extra focus on engaging with employees who are at greater risk, encouraging them to get regularly tested and fully vaccinated. Ensure they have access to accurate information about the virus and the vaccine. Continually review your risk assessment based on local infection rates (Public Health modelling predicts that cases will be rising by between 4.5% and 8.4% each week as we move through this third wave).
- Business Continuity: Ensure you have a strategy in place to maintain business continuity if employees have to self-isolate. By putting sensible precautions in place to protect your employees, the risks to business continuity will be minimised, but you will still need to consider what you will do if a number of employees are unable to work at the same time.
- Consumer Confidence: Think about how your customers may be feeling and what will help them to overcome any hesitancy about visiting your premises. Communicate clearly with your customers to let them know what you are doing to keep them safe. Ask for feedback from customers and consider adapting your measures based on their feedback.
Public Protection Enforcement
The Public Protection Partnership will be concentrating on the following for now:
- Businesses where multiple covid cases have arisen/where common issues keep occurring.
- Visiting businesses which have asked them for advice/for a visit to check the measures they have in place.
- Re-visits to businesses where issues have previously been highlighted.
- Visiting businesses where concerns have been raised by members of the public.
Thank you to those businesses which have been in touch to confirm their plans for 19th July. Most businesses we have spoken to this week are keeping a number of safety measures in place to reassure and protect their employees and customers. We will distribute a press release next week to help visitors to the town understand what to expect going forward to try to minimise any confusion and promote cooperation, kindness, and understanding.
ACTION: Please read the latest business newsletter from West Berkshire Council for some really important updates about the reopening roadmap and changes to the Additional Restrictions Grant from 31st July.
ACTION: Please remember to let me know if your business has space and/or ideas for activities and events for young people. Could you, for example, offer your premises at certain times as a dedicated hang out spot for teenagers, or could you offer special after-school deals to make it affordable for young people to visit you?
I’m delighted to say that the proposal I submitted last week to West Berkshire Council for us to be appointed as delivery partners for the Welcome Back Fund has been approved by their Economic Development Board! This means we will benefit from a significant amount of funding to deliver four exciting projects to help draw people into Newbury and provide a first-class town centre experience as we continue our recovery. More to follow on this as our plans come to fruition!
Operations Update from Alison
This week I have been focused on planning and organising our upcoming summer events and have held meetings with my BID Board, WBC Environmental Health and Licensing and various suppliers and artists! This week we also held our monthly Pubwatch meeting as part of our crime reduction partnership.
ACTION: Next week our FREE cardboard collection will resume for those who are signed up to the scheme. Please leave your cardboard out by 9am on Tuesday morning. If you are not yet signed up and would like this free benefit, please contact me.
ACTION: Our Vegan Market is back on Sunday 8th August and I’ve agreed 3 x FREE stalls for BID members. If you are interested please contact me ASAP to register your interest!
ACTION: Our monthly Artisan Market is also back again on Sunday 25th July and I’ve agreed 2 x FREE stalls for BID members so please do contact me asap to register your interest!
ACTION: Please share our upcoming Summer Series of Events across your social networks! The Facebook event links are below:
Superhero Shows: Tuesday 24th August facebook.com/events/4323108617750185/
Upcoming dates for your diary
- Family Fun Days – Wednesday 28 July, Wednesday 11 August & Tuesday 24 August
- Summer Series – Sunday 25th July, Sunday 1st August, Sunday 15th August & Sunday 29th August
- Artisan Market – Sunday 25th July
- Vegan Market – Sunday 8th August
- Shopsafe – next week’s Shopsafe meeting scheduled for Thursday 22nd July at 10am is changed to Friday 30th July at 10.00am. Details will be sent to Shopsafe members shortly
- Pubwatch – next month’s Pubwatch meeting is on Tuesday 17th August at 10am
Marketing Update from Kirsty
As per last week, I have been project managing our upcoming Town Centre Trails project and this week started creating interactive maps for the Visit Newbury website. The plan is to have all of our series of town trails on the interactive map for visitors to use on their mobile when they visit Newbury, introducing many businesses and fabulous editions to the town along the way!
ACTION: Is your retail or hospitality business keen to offer any vegan-specific promotions or provide an increase of vegan-friendly products in-store exclusively for Vegan Market day? If so, please email me so these can be promoted in our Visit Newbury marketing and also on the Newbury Vegan Market events page and Vegan Fairs website.
ACTION: We’re looking for businesses happy to promote our Vegan Market by displaying posters in their store front / shop window. These will be distributed once the market operator has the copy finalised, and so please get in touch with me if you’re keen to get involved!
Alongside the above, I have arranged a radio interview for our Summer Series of Events next week, and have been working to refine our first ever ‘Visit Newbury Loves Local’ newsletter. Please sign-up to this in the footer of the Visit Newbury area of our site! Email marketing is just another channel for us to play on Newbury’s strengths by highlighting all of the amazing businesses and things to do in Newbury town centre. I very much look forward to working with you all over the course of our BID term to create amazing content and feature your business (where appropriate). I have also produced a draft press release for the announcement of our one-day special Food and Drink Festival, which will be finalised and published post-meeting next week with the event operators. Further to this, I’ve provided regular business support, booked in town traders (including one in particular for a 13-week basis), and stayed on top of daily social media updates and communications.
ACTION: A reminder that I’m looking to host a professional photoshoot within the town centre to capture a series of lifestyle imagery to promote Newbury going forward. I’m looking to cast between 10-15 people from all ethnicities, genders and ages to be in these images in the town centre. Shoot day is TBC but is due to be sometime in July. This is not a paid opportunity. I’m looking primarily for the following:
x 1 couple aged 26-32
x 1 couple aged 35-45
x 1 young family of four with primary aged children
x 1 older family of 3 or 4 with secondary school aged children
x group of 4-6 women aged between 26-45
Thanks to those who have already expressed an interest. Please get in touch with me if you’re keen to be involved. Participants must be willing to provide photos and answer a series of questions upon expressing their interest.
Rangers Update from Shaun
Business Community Updates & Shout Outs
ACTION: It’s fantastic to see a number of businesses within the BID shortlisted for Muddy Stilettos awards! Please, please, please take the time to vote for these local businesses which all well and truly deserve to win top spot!
For all businesses, please do let us know anything about your organisation that we can shout about – we absolutely love to hear and share good news!
West Berkshire Council Update
Resident's News Bulletin
Mental Health Support
Thames Valley Police Update
Here are links to the latest updates from the Government:
- New hospitality strategy to help pubs, bars and restaurants build back better from the pandemic – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Prime Minister announces £50 million investment in grassroots football pitches – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Almost 100% of people have antibodies after second vaccine – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Government Chemist conference 2021: Safe food for tomorrow’s world – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Heat-health alert issued by Public Health England – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Skills training boosted across the country – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Government strategy to regenerate high streets – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- PM sets out new ‘County Deals’ to devolve power to local communities in Levelling Up speech – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- The Prime Minister’s Levelling Up speech: 15 July 2021 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Government sets out action to stop online racist abuse in football – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- “No room for complacency” – charity regulator welcomes rise in trust, but reminds charities that public expectations remain high – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Traffic light system update for 19 July 2021 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- More than 2 in 3 adults receive both doses of vaccine – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Travel update: new destinations added to government travel lists – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Ban on knives, firearms and offensive weapons comes into force – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- How much do tenants know about their insurance rights under the Pubs Code? Help the PCA find out – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- PM statement at coronavirus press conference: 12 July 2021 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Prime Minister confirms move to Step 4 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Government launches campaign encouraging families to Rediscover Summer – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Further support confirmed for Oxford to slow COVID-19 infections – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Events, Resources & Industry News
Business support during the COVID-19 crisis is available from the following organisations:
- West Berkshire Council – COVID-19 information for businesses – https://info.westberks.gov.uk/coronavirus-business
- Public Protection Partnership – advice and support on COVID guidelines and regulations – https://publicprotectionpartnership.org.uk/covid-19/
- Business Growth Hub – free COVID advice and support for businesses in Berkshire – https://www.berkshirebusinesshub.co.uk/
- Government – summary of COVID support available for businesses – https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support