After an extended lockdown due to the pandemic, retail shops are beginning to reopen across the United Kingdom. Reopening is a big moment for the local economy, and it’s particularly important for retailers who’ve been closed for the last few months. We’ve compiled a helpful checklist of things to consider as you reopen.
Review your local guidelines
Depending on the location of your shop, there may be different restrictions and guidelines you need to follow. Visit gov.uk/coronavirus to review reopening dates that apply to your region and business.
Keep your community informed
Use your marketing channels to get in touch with your customers to let them know you’re reopening. Send an email blast and amplify your news on social media channels. You can also add colourful signs in your shop windows to let the community know you’re open for business.
Ensure customers and staff are safe
- Limit the flow of traffic. Determine the appropriate maximum capacity with social distancing measures in mind. Introduce signage in your window or outside to inform customers of your new capacity limits. Add markers on the floor throughout your shop to encourage social distancing.
- Offer protection with sanitiser and barriers. Ensure that everyone has access to hand sanitiser at entrances, exits, and POS stations. Place plastic guards at designated service stations or cash registers to provide another layer of protection for your team.
- Enforce masks. Require that all customers and employees wear a face mask in your shop.
- Limit store hours. Reduce your store hours if necessary to take into account time for cleaning, and consider designating a specific time for high-risk customers to shop, like a senior’s hour for shoppers over the age of 65.
- Ensure employees are healthy. Monitor the health status of your employees to ensure they aren’t showing symptoms and encourage team members who are feeling sick to stay home.
Apply for funding
There’s government funding available for small businesses in the United Kingdom.
We encourage you to review the types of financial support you can receive from the government, including the new Recovery Loan Scheme that started on 6 April 2021.
In addition, you can apply for the government’s internationalisation fund that allows businesses to access up to £8,000 for market research and future trade trips. There are also Brexit cash grants available, in which businesses can receive £2,000 from the government for training staff on new customs requirements.
Update your inventory
To stock new products after you reopen, shop on Faire.