Falkirk businesses discuss coronavirus recovery plans with council leader

Falkirk businesses may be slowly but surely becoming accustomed to the ‘new normal’ way of operating – but many are already planning for the future.

By Jonathon Reilly
Wednesday, 22nd July 2020, 12:20 pm

From bars and barbers to clothes shops and cafés, various town centre firms are back up and running for the first time since being forced into closing at the onset of the coronavirus lockdown.

Although the recovery process is still in its infancy, members of Falkirk Delivers – the town’s business improvement district (BID) – are pressing on with plans to entice shoppers and customers back to the area.

Having re-opened with social distancing safety measures in place, the BID employed street marshals to carry out regular patrols on the first weekend the majority of businesses got back into the groove to ensure everything went as smoothly as possible.

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Falkirk Council leader Cecil Meiklejohn visited staff from Tweedie and Marshall Hairdressing

Discussions with Falkirk Council over ways of mitigating the impact of the Covid-19 on firms have also been ongoing.

The easing of lockdown restrictions enabled the local authority’s leader, Cecil Meiklejohn, to meet face-to-face with a raft of business owners and employees to address matters such as parking and grants.

Ms Meiklejohn said: “It was good to get out and speak directly to the town centre businesses.

“It is great to see just how well they are now adapting to the social distancing guidance to keep their customers safe and get back to trading.

“Many of the issues discussed were around before Covid-19 hit and were contained within the town centre action plan, such as parking, waste management and anti-social behaviour.

"The work to address these matter now needs to be progressed urgently in order to support and sustain our town centre businesses.

“Another area that came up was the provision of business grants, which was warmly welcomed, particularly the easy application and payment which was a lifeline to many. Also, the council’s plans for town centre regeneration and the replacement council HQ and arts centre.

“While there is still a commitment to delivering a major regeneration project within the town centre, our plans will need to be re-assessed in light of the impact of Covid-19.”

Falkirk Council has launched an online survey to gather the views of district residents as part of its Covid-19 recovery plan.

Those who live in the region will be asked what they believe is important to local communities.

The questions include: How can we support local business? Should communities be more involved in council decision-making? Should there be more digital and online services?

Access the survey here.

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