After months of closure for local shops, Newry Chamber hopes that the reopening this Friday of non-essential retail will provide a welcome boost for the local economy. It has been a difficult time for local retailers and we know there’ll be more challenges ahead, but we hope that the last four months will be the last lockdown we face.
To fully recover, the city centre needs hospitality and retail open together and fully functioning. Like retail, hospitality makes an important contribution to our economy and employs a significant number of local people. Now that retail is open, we look forward to the successful reopening of hospitality businesses on 24th May 2021.
We have included below information from the Department for the Economy and the Food Standards Agency on reopening which businesses may find of value.
Looking to the future, the revitalisation of our city centre will be essential for the future of Newry as a vibrant city. The local Council’s regeneration plans will play an important part in that. The Council has organised a consultation event specifically for local businesses, on 19th May 2021 and you can view the registration details below.
We hope all local businesses and their customers have a safe reopening this Friday.
Finally, don’t forget to join our three Facebook Groups, which have been set up by the Chamber to support local businesses.
Chief Executive Officer
Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade
PUBLIC HEALTH INFO FOR RETAIL BUSINESSES REOPENING
The Department for the Economy (DfE) has provided a set of guidelines for retail businesses reopening their premises.
This aims to assure customers that, as a retailer, you are working to comply with COVID-19 health protection measures alongside encouraging them to follow steps to ensure in-store safety.
The guidance covers encouraging customers to:
- Avoid retail premises if they have tested positive or have COVID-19 symptoms.
- Wear face coverings unless they are exempt.
- Follow social distancing guidelines and in-shop measures.
- Raise queries on store safety management with staff.
Retail businesses can download and tailor the guidance to suit their circumstances and may wish to display in their premises below.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD DfE GUIDANCE DOCUMENT.
FSA ADVICE FOR FOOD BUSINESSES REOPENING
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) issues updated guidance to food businesses ahead of relaxations to the Coronavirus Health Regulations
To support the hospitality sector during this reopening phase, the FSA has issued refreshed guidance aimed to support food businesses to prioritise food safety as well as customer and staff wellbeing, when reopening.
See the following guidance:
- Adapting restaurants and food delivery.
- Reopening checklist for food businesses.
- Changing your business model during COVID-19.
The guidance is to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the pandemic and how to prioritise food hygiene and food safety when reopening after a period of closure.
Food businesses can download reopening checklist to work through the checks they should make when restarting operations and to record progress when reviewing their processes.
Tourism NI guidance incorporates these assets.
As the NI Executive’s roadmap progresses towards the reopening of indoor hospitality venues and the eventual lifting of all legal limits on social contact, the above guidance will help businesses stay safe, get compliant and remain confident in being able to do the right thing.
CLICK HERE FOR FURTHER INFO.
EXTENSION OF WORKPLACE COVID-19 TESTING
The Department for Health has expanded the offer for workforce asymptomatic testing to all organisations with 10 or more employees or volunteers. Previously this had been restricted to organisations with more than 50.
Asymptomatic testing forms a key part of the Executive’s strategy to suppress the virus as lockdown measures start to relax.
Employers have a vital role to play in this next phase, minimising the spread of infection among those who cannot work from home by introducing regular testing to identify asymptomatic cases within their workforce.
Small business or organisations with 10 or less employees and people who work from home, but are coming into contact with people outside of their household or COVID bubble in the course of their business, have a number of options to access rapid Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests.
Small businesses and people working from home can access testing using one of following options:
- Find your nearest rapid flow test site.
- Find a local site to collect local flow device tests to perform at home.
- Ordering local flow device tests for delivery to your home address.
CLICK HERE FOR FURTHER INFO.
NEWRY CITY CENTRE REGENERATION:
CONSULTATION WORKSHOP FOR BUSINESSES
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is currently undertaking a public consultation on proposals, which make up Newry City Centre Regeneration Programme.
Otium Leisure Consultancy has been appointed by the Council to facilitate the consultation process.
As businesses in the city itself and in the wider district are key stakeholders in such a programme, you are invited to attend a workshop specifically for businesses.
DATE: Wednesday 19th May 2021
The webinar will take place via Zoom and you can now register for it below.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.
UPDATE: NEWRY CITY CENTRE PUBLIC REALM SCHEME
As we approach the end of April 2021, contractors Northstone (NI) are planning to have completed the bulk of the works in time for tomorrow, Friday 30th April 2021.
(With the exception of a number of snagging’s and a piece of Pathway Resurfacing at Ballybot Bridge that cannot be completed until a Utility Company comes to site in mid May 2021 to finish their connections).
Beyond the completion of the Public Realm Scheme works, DFI will be following up with a programme of carriageway resurfacing to complement the completed pathway improvements, later in 2021, once they are content that Firmus Energy have completed most of their current works within the extent of the Public Realm Area.
AIR PURIFIER SCAM: BEIS HEADED LETTER CIRCULATING
We have received information regarding a scam letter being sent out. We are aware of businesses receiving BEIS-headed letters instructing them to share contact details and purchase air purifiers.
This is incorrect and an illegitimate letter.
There remains NO requirement for any business to purchase air-purifiers, (UNLESS you CHOOSE to do so as the outcome of a risk assessment).
CLICK HERE TO REPORT SCAM TO ACTION FRAUD.