Thursday, 16 July 2020

Supporting Cornwall’s businesses

In the past few weeks, businesses and workspaces across the country have begun to reopen following their closures as a consequence of the Coronavirus. For many, the past few months have been an extremely challenging time with problems relating to a loss of income and the various other challenges associated with this.
On the 4th July many of these businesses had the opportunity to re-open and I spent the weekend in the constituency meeting people and visiting some of the businesses that were getting ready to start again. All of the businesses had implemented the guidance and social distancing measures required to make their premises COVID-19 secure maintaining the safety of staff and visitors alike.
There have been some great examples of local Cornish businesses stepping in to help during the Coronavirus episode. The Penventon Hotel offered up its rooms for key NHS staff working at Treliske and also set aside a part of the hotel to be a temporary nursing home so that patients could be discharged from hospital earlier and cared for from the hotel. As things start to get back to normal they are now open to the public again and taking bookings for the remainder of the summer.
My visit to Hayle also showed some of the difficulties businesses have as we adjust to reopen again and the different needs of different types of shop. Cornwall Council have been trying to support local town councils with any measures to assist in making social distancing work. On Penpol Terrace a decision had been taken to cone off the roadside parking. The cafes welcomed the move because they wanted to put tables outside on the pavement, however, the other retailers relied on customers being able to pull in and park to go into their shop. In the end, a decision was taken to remove the cones and allow cars to park there again. All of this shows the trial and error nature of the situation we all find ourselves in.
I know that in the weeks and months ahead, many will be apprehensive about the continued re-opening of Cornwall. However, it may take some time to finally see the virus disappear altogether and for the time being, we will all need to learn to live our lives alongside it and that includes finding ways to enable people to safely visit beautiful Cornwall and spend their money here so that our many fabulous restaurants, camp sites and hotels are given a future. There is lots that we can do as individuals to protect ourselves, from regularly washing our hands, to wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces and businesses are doing all that they can to help mitigate the spread of the virus.
The next few months are critical to our local economy here in Cornwall. It is vital that we do what we can to support our local shops and high streets whilst also remaining safe.

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