A new campaign to support businesses that are safely open for business in the West Midlands has been launched.
#WMOpen4Biz aims to encourage shoppers and residents to safely return to town and city centres to give the local economy a boost – and help ensure businesses can survive the pandemic.
The campaign, which is being run by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), has been kicked off by Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, who visited a variety of independent shops in Wolverhampton and Birmingham to see how they had made themselves ‘Covid-secure.’
The Mayor said: “Coronavirus continues to have a big impact on our way of life and shows no sign of stopping, meaning we must learn to live safely with it. This is critical because whilst we face a public health crisis, we also face an economic one too.
“It is brilliant that so many local businesses, shops, restaurants, and a whole host of other venues have re-opened their doors despite the difficult times, but they need support to stay open.
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“As well as Government support which we are lobbying for, small acts such as buying a morning coffee from a coffee shop, picking up lunch from a sandwich bar, and shopping on your local high street for essentials instead of online, can make such a difference to these businesses, their employees, and ultimately the West Midlands economy.
“So I want to encourage everyone who can to safely get out to our brilliant local shops and restaurants once again. West Midlands businesses are open, and they have gone to great lengths to ensure the safety of workers and customers, so please remember to socially distance and wear a mask.”
As part of the campaign launch, the Mr Street visited local businesses in Wolverhampton city centre that have managed to keep their doors open thanks to taking measures to make their premises safe.
He visited the offices of the Express and Star; Ron Flowers Sports; Blooms Menswear; and Michael Kirk the Butcher.
Sam Carter, sales assistant at Ron Flowers Sports, said: “It’s definitely a good campaign. Getting people back in the shop is brilliant but keeping people safe is ultimately the most important part; I’m all for getting people back on the high street.”
Anjum Khan, the director of the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce (ABCC), has also welcomed the initiative.
She said: “The Open for Business safely campaign, in conjunction with the ABCC’s Business Support campaign, will be critical in engaging more members of the Asian business community with guidance and advice that is crucial to their survival.
“Working collaboratively, we can help businesses throughout the region, by ensuring they have the knowledge and resources they need to remain open while doing all that they can to contain the spread of this virus.
“Any business that is looking for support should call our hotline for advice on 0121 274 3280.”