Town centre businesses committed to overcoming impact of virus

Town centre businesses are “committed” to continuing as normal a service as possible during the coronavirus crisis.

That is the opinion of Living Lerwick’s project manager Emma Miller, who has highlighted steps the body is taking to overcome the pandemic’s economic impact.

It comes after Living Lerwick staff visited a number of outlets on Tuesday.

They reached a consensus with businesses to carry on with additional measures in place to protect staff and customers.

Details of ongoing provision from over 70 businesses have been published on the Living Lerwick website.

Cleaning regimes are said to have been stepped up in all areas and customers are being asked to follow additional hand washing procedures on entering premises.

In line with health board guidance, anyone feeling unwell – or who has been in contact with someone else who unwell – is asked to stay away from public places and cancel any appointments they may have.

Many retailers already offer online purchasing with options for home delivery by Royal Mail or in-store collection.

Those without online outlets are offering personal telephone shopping services where goods can be paid for by telephone and posted or collection arranged.

With Mother’s Day coming up this week, the retailers are keen to ensure that
people can access gifts. Flower deliveries are continuing as normal.

Food outlets are offering takeaway services, with two providers signed up to an app where customers can pre-order and pay for food, only being required to pick up the completed order at a set time.

For the time being, most cafes and restaurants remain open, some on restricted hours.

Professional service businesses, both personal care and administrative are continuing.

Some office staff are working from home, but email, telephone and in some cases video
calling arrangements are continuing to ensure an ongoing service.

Appointments which require personal contact are continuing for now, however any member of the public who would prefer to cancel their planned appointment are being asked to do so as soon as possible.

Ms Miller said: “These are unprecedented and challenging times for our community and our local businesses. It is essential we follow government guidance and keep ourselves and our families safe, but we do also have to continue to live our lives.

“The measures that our local shops and businesses have taken to enable people to still
access their goods and services, while remaining as safe as possible is to be commended.

“We don’t know how long this crisis will continue for, and while we, rightly, look after ourselves, I would also urge people to think local first when ordering anything. Our local economy, jobs and services will be the longer-term casualties of this situation and we can hopefully manage that with support from the community.”


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