Safe trading guide for garden centres launched ahead of re-open plan

A social distancing and trading guide has been launched to help protect workers and green-fingered enthusiasts when garden centres re-open. Read more: Safe trading guide for garden centres launched ahead of re-open plan

Safe trading guide for garden centres launched ahead of re-open plan

A social distancing and trading guide has been launched to help protect workers and green-fingered enthusiasts when garden centres re-open.

The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) has produced the safe trading guide for garden centres which includes advice on products to be sold, customer numbers in stores, entrance and exit protocols and queueing and checkout procedures.

It is part of the HTA’s campaign to reopen garden centres and they have also produced accompanying signage that can be downloaded from their website to support the implementation of social distancing measures. These resources are available for HTA and non-members alike, given the importance of this issue to the country.

The guidance document, which aims to ensure all garden centres open in a safe manner for staff and customers alike – should the Government formally announce a relaxation – has been informed by leading HTA retailers, the British Retail Consortium, and the relevant government guidance as a recommendation of best practice regarding social distancing.

It advises that products for sale are restricted to plants, seeds, bulbs, composts and growing media, pots and planters, garden hardware such as tools, propagation equipment, fertilisers and pest control along with items directly associated with these such as pet foods and accessories, food products and cookware.

No giftware, homeware, clothing, garden furniture or large BBQs and similar items are to be sold on site with stores being encouraged to sell these products online instead. Cafes or restaurants are not allowed to open under the guidelines.

HTA chairman, James Barnes, said: “We have been highlighting the unique plight of the UK grower sector and the need for direct government assistance given the inapplicability of the current financial aid schemes. Opening garden centres will not only help open sales outlets but will assist the mental health and well-being of so many people isolating at home and the importance of having something to do at home keeps you at home.

“We are doing everything we can to enable garden centres to reopen safely and as soon as possible should the government alter the guidelines for our sector. Similar to supermarkets, most garden centres are well placed to adhere to strict social distancing measures due to their size and spacious facilities including outdoor areas. This new guidance document is integral for all operators to get back to business as safely as they can and gives them the help they need to protect their staff and customers in these extremely unsettling times.”

The HTA is asking all members to agree to adhere to the guidelines before they re-open their businesses. The sign-up process will be managed via the plantsnearme website – plantsnearme.hta.org.uk – where consumers will also be able to see which businesses are following the advice.

In addition, the HTA will be seeking support from government to encourage the wider industry to implement the same guidelines which supports the work that the trade body is doing with Government to ensure garden centres are reopened as part of the first relaxation of lockdown.

The document is available for all retail businesses to download here.

Read more:
Safe trading guide for garden centres launched ahead of re-open plan

Source : Business Matters More   

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Mayor urges Prime Minister to accelerate £4.2BN transport funding to help re-boot West Midlands economy

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has urged Boris Johnson to accelerate critical transport funding to help re-boot the region’s economy after the coronavirus pandemic. Read more: Mayor urges Prime Minister to accelerate £4.2BN transport funding to help re-boot West Midlands economy

Mayor urges Prime Minister to accelerate £4.2BN transport funding to help re-boot West Midlands economy

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has urged Boris Johnson to accelerate critical transport funding to help re-boot the region’s economy after the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this year Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £4.2bn devolved transport fund for the UK’s combined authorities, meaning, if split equally, the West Midlands would be guaranteed at least £500m – the largest single devolved sum it has ever received.

The cash was due to be released in the 2022/23 financial year, but on a phone call this morning Mayor Andy Street asked the Prime Minister to bring that funding forward in the wake of the economic damage caused by the coronavirus. Research suggests the West Midlands’ economy could be the worst hit in the UK.

The Mayor, who is spearheading the West Midlands’ economic recovery from Covid-19, wants to inject cash quickly into major infrastructure projects to help act as a shot in the arm for the region’s economy. With plans drawn up and several shovel-ready schemes just awaiting funding, transport investment is seen as a critical part of the recovery.

As well as accelerating the £4.2bn transport fund to the regions, Mayor Andy Street also pressed the Prime Minister on the need to invest to help re-boot the UK’s economy as the coronavirus pandemic begins to subside. He highlighted areas such as digital infrastructure, brownfield land housing, and electric vehicle charging points and technology, which are all primed and ready for investment in the West Midlands.

The Mayor has experience of financial crises, having been managing director of John Lewis at the time of the 2008/09 global recession.

He said: “It is encouraging news that thanks to the hard-work and responsibility of so many people across the West Midlands we are now through the peak of the virus and beginning to think about how we exit what continues to be a very challenging lockdown period.

“Clearly, we need to think about how we get the West Midlands economy, which was performing well and growing faster than any area outside of London before the virus hit, back on its feet. We are in the process of drawing up our recovery plan, but it is clear that investment in infrastructure is going to play a critical role and it was good to press this point to the Prime Minister this morning.

“The Government has already committed funding to transport but we want to bring that forward and we also want to see investment in several other key sectors in the region, not least digital infrastructure and the automotive industry’s push towards electric and autonomous vehicle technology.”

All of the M9 – the group comprised of the UK’s regional metro mayors – were present on this morning’s call with the Prime Minister, and the group stressed the need for Mayors to be able to lead the recovery for their regions.

Read more:
Mayor urges Prime Minister to accelerate £4.2BN transport funding to help re-boot West Midlands economy

Source : Business Matters More   

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