By Ray Abrahams, FSB Development Manager Surrey
I met with Simon Bland, Reigate and Banstead Economic Development Officer to see for myself just how our Reigate members are faring following re-opening after ‘lockdown’. It is, I’m afraid, a sorry story. The photograph says more than 1,000 words. No footfall and no customers. There are two reasons:
- Older people are not confident to venture out and the school run is not happening.
- Employees have not returned to their desks. Just 2 minutes walk from Cullenders Brasserie/Café/Bar sits an office complex with 700 employees. On the day of my visit just one car in the car park. Our High Streets need staff to return to work for it’s recovery.
Sorry story over and hopefully it will change soon. There is another reason for this story. It is great to witness our Local Authorities engaging with our members. I understand that Simon Bland and Marc Cullender have been in touch all through lockdown and before.
I also understand that street tables and chairs will be allowed to assist recovery. Working together and this is not a unique example. It is happening across Surrey. Thank you Local Authorities, helping small businesses back into business!