New Stay Safe, Stay Open packages launch across Hertfordshire
New ‘Stay Safe, Stay Open’ packages launch across Hertfordshire, providing support to small businesses to build resilience through the winter.
A brand-new programme of free business support packages aiming to help organisations thrive in a Covid world, launches today (2nd November 2021) in Hertfordshire.
Stay Safe, Stay Open offers small businesses across the county access to a wide range of free support which seeks to help enterprises navigate the changing advice and regulations, update risk assessments to ensure that they continue to trade safely, and plan for future success with financial support and continuity planning.
The support packages, which are free to access for eligible businesses in Hertfordshire, are being funded by the Hertfordshire Health Protection Board, and delivered in partnership by the Hertfordshire Growth Hub, the Better Business for All partnership, Visit Herts, and Hertfordshire’s local authorities.
This support is available for businesses with premises in Hertfordshire operating in a number of sectors, however there is a distinct focus on the higher-risk consumer facing sectors as we move into autumn and winter including: Accommodation & Food services, Arts, Entertainment & Recreation, Retail, Hair & Beauty, and close contact services. The ventilation support will focus on businesses with limited natural ventilation that have large numbers of people in confined spaces, standing and mixing with each other including music venues, certain hospitality venues and leisure/sporting activities.
The following two specialised support packages are available to access from today for eligible enterprises to make the most of:
- Practical Health and Safety Consultancy, Operational and Business Planning Advice:
Up to 8 hours of bespoke 1:1 support to review Covid-19 risk assessments and implement simple changes to bring you in line with the latest guidance. Experienced, personable, industry experts will run through the ‘customer journey’, providing practical business planning, operational, communications and training advice. This support is available for businesses with up to 50 employees in certain sectors with premises in Hertfordshire.
- Funding to help improve ventilation:
Are you concerned about the lack of ventilation and airflow in your venue or business premises as we move into the colder months? Access funding to pay for ventilation specialists who will audit your spaces and make recommendations for improvements that will help mitigate outbreaks without needing to reduce capacity. To determine if you meet the eligibility criteria, all businesses interested in applying must book an initial 1:1 advisory visit. Following the visit, eligible businesses will be referred to Hertfordshire Growth Hub and invited to apply for the ventilation funding.
Further to this, the following packages are already available, or will be launching in the near future:
- Funded legal support package:
Need help with HR, health and safety, commercial contracts, or tax? Hertfordshire businesses with fewer than 50 employees can access a year of free legal advice through funded membership to either Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce or the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) which includes including a 24/7 legal helpline, legal documents, templates, and policies available online.
- Better business for all Trading Safely Toolkits:
The Better Business for All partnership has produced a toolkit of resources to help businesses trade safely and comply with the law. These bitesize documents break down the advice into practical guides, checklists, and case studies with links to where organisations can find more local support and information.
- Get the Safe to Trade Accreditation:
Already a successful pilot in Broxbourne, and soon to be launched in five further Hertfordshire districts, business will be able to access a free accreditation as part of the Safe to Trade Scheme managed by Shield Safety Group. This accreditation gives businesses the confidence that their premises are protected by COVID-19 control measures and shows customers and employees a commitment to their safety.
- (Launching soon) Trading Safely Webinars and Workshops:
Look out for a programme of webinars and events taking place online and across the county. The sessions will offer you the opportunity to hear from experts on a range of topics including regulation bidding for contracts, financial planning, and continuity planning, as well as ask questions and learn from other businesses facing similar challenges.
Liza Armstrong, Hertfordshire Growth Hub Head of Service said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Visit Herts and Better Business for All on this new package of support designed to help local businesses to continue to trade safely. Since the start of the pandemic, Hertfordshire Growth Hub has been supporting local businesses to adapt and respond in the face of the pandemic and the Stay Safe Stay Open programme provides further support to businesses at a time when it is most needed.”
Visit Herts Chief Executive, Deirdre Wells OBE, said: “We are delighted to be involved in the Stay Safe, Stay Open launch this week. Working closely with our colleagues at the Hertfordshire Growth Hub, Better Business for All, and our county’s local authorities to ensure that organisations across the region are equipped with the resources and guidance they need in order to prosper over the coming months remains our top priority as we emerge from an extraordinarily challenging 18 months.
Businesses will have already spent a lot of time, effort, and money making their premises as safe as possible for staff and customers. Maintaining vigilance and ensuring that they’re implementing the very latest guidance through the winter will not only ensure that Hertfordshire’s businesses remain compliant, but also provides a positive sales message which will give our consumers the all-important confidence to visit again.”
The Stay Safe, Stay Open business packages will also be supported by a consumer-facing campaign which is due to be launched by Visit Herts this winter. Campaign activity will aim promote those venues across the county who are doing all that they can to keep everybody safe, as well as encouraging residents and visitors to support Hertfordshire businesses through the winter months in a safe and responsible way.
And, for further information, visitor economy businesses can also visit: https://www.visithertsbusiness.co.uk/