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Boost for businesses as council shares out £60m ahead of shops reopening

PUBLISHED: 11:32 17 June 2020 | UPDATED: 11:55 18 June 2020

London Road North, in Lowestoft, as shops reopen their doors. PHOTO: Reece Hanson

London Road North, in Lowestoft, as shops reopen their doors. PHOTO: Reece Hanson

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A coastal council has backed more than 5,200 businesses with almost £60 million shared out during the coronavirus crisis.

Craig Rivett, deputy leader of East Suffolk Council and cabinet member for economic development. PHOTO: East Suffolk CouncilCraig Rivett, deputy leader of East Suffolk Council and cabinet member for economic development. PHOTO: East Suffolk Council

Ahead of the reopening of non-essential shops on Monday, June 15, East Suffolk Council has been awarded a further £222,000 to support the reopening of high streets across the district, with officers working with businesses to ensure stores are reopened as safely as possible.

As well as providing posters highlighting social distancing measures, the council has also considered a range of temporary measures, including localised road closures.

The council have been supporting businesses throughout the pandemic with grants from the Government’s Small Business Grant Fund, the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Fund and the Discretionary Business Grant Fund, as well as through the East Suffolk Business Association Development Fund.

So far, the council has paid out almost £60 million to 5,223 businesses in East Suffolk.

Craig Rivett, cabinet member for economic development, said: “We are excited about the reopening of our high streets and know how important this is to our local shops.

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“We want to reassure shoppers that everyone has put a lot of effort into ensuring all measures have been taken to keep them safe while they shop.

“We all have a role to play in limiting the spread of coronavirus as more shops open, and we ask that everyone remain kind and patient as our high streets adapt to this new normal.

“As always, it remains of utmost importance that everyone continues to practice social distancing, staying at least two metres apart from anyone outside of their own household.

“East Suffolk Council is committed to our businesses, and we will continue to work closely with shops and other local businesses to support the progress of the district’s economic recovery in the months ahead.”

Temporary road closures have been approved in Beccles, Woodbridge and Felixstowe, with more applications currently being reviewed by the council.

The council’s Business Association Development Fund has been adapted to support businesses responding to the Covid-19 outbreak, such as Framlingham’s Covid-19 Response Team, who were boosted by a grant of £1,700.


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