Coronavirus: Falkirk Delivers offering free support to town centre firms

Town centre firms are being offered a helping hand to deal with the economic effects of coronavirus via Falkirk’s Business Improvement District (BID).

Falkirk Delivers, as the BID is known, has been working in tandem with Business Gateway Falkirk in an attempt to alleviate concerns and help businesses get through the months ahead.

Everything from question and answer documents and one-to-one advice sessions to HR support and guidance on funding applications is being provided free of charge to town centre shops, bars and eateries to try to lessen the impact of COVID-19 on the local economy.

New BID manager Elaine Grant officially started her new role on Monday.

New Falkirk Delivers manager Elaine Grant. Picture: Michael Gillen.

Elaine, who previously ran Piccolina Children’s Wear in Wooer Street, said: “We can all agree it’s a very worrying time for everyone, not only as business owners but as individuals.

“We have been running open sessions in the office for businesses to come along because sometimes all they need is someone to talk to.

“There are three key areas businesses are concerned about. One is their staffing and keep employees employed as long as possible. The second is cash flow and funding and the third is what support and advice is available.

“I have spoken to Business Gateway and they have provided HR support for businesses so we have pulled together a question and answer list for businesses in the town and set up a closed Facebook group for the community to come together and support one another. They’re now sharing their experiences.

“If any have more complicated questions, they can get a one-to-one for free funded by Business Gateway.”

Helping stores to gain financial assistance is critical for the Falkirk Delivers team.

Elaine explained: “We’ve asked Business Gateway to support businesses with any funding applications, grants or loans.

“We’ve also met with many retailers and asked the council to look at parking and allowing businesses to trade differently as some are looking at shrinking hours.

“We’ve got our Safebase volunteers checking on more vulnerable residents in the town. We’ve also met with Boots and Callendar Pharmacy to see how we can continue to support them. There’s the potential for the Safebase volunteers to work with the council and CVS Falkirk who are pulling together a pool of volunteers so there’s a crossover to help communities.”

Search ‘Falkirk Delivers’ on Facebook for more details.