As pubs, restaurants, cafes, hotels, hair salons and barbers across the city centre prepare to reopen again, three months after lockdown began, Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID) is introducing a whole new way of ordering and paying for goods in the city with a mobile platform to ensure social distancing can be maintained for a high level of customer and staff safety.

By simply scanning a QR code in a venue, customers can access the menus, unlock promotions, make an order and pay. There is no need to download an app, as this can be done on any smartphone via any internet browser. The platform reduces queues and increases customer turnover in hospitality venues with mobile ordering.

The service is being offered to businesses in the  BID zone, for free , as part of Nottingham BID’s commitment to supporting city centre businesses reopen and trade safely after the unprecedented impact of COVID-19.

Business reopening packs with information about what businesses should be considering ahead of opening along with hand sanitiser, social distancing markers, posters with a handwashing guide , window vinyl’s and streets markers are just a few of the other measures that Nottingham BID has implemented as part of its phased recovery plan for the city.

Nottingham BID, in partnership with Nottingham City Council, has delivered a city wide campaign to ensure a safe and welcoming city centre for visitors, residents and businesses and focused their efforts on the requirements and needs of their levy payers to help them safely return to work.

Additional funding has also been made available to support Nottingham BID’s already existing rapid urban cleaning service that they deliver to members in the city centre, in conjunction with Nottingham City Council. The extra funding has allowed the council’s cleaning team to deliver additional regimes to ensure high contact areas of the city centre are being safely and routinely cleaned.

“Our main job is to support our levy payers as much as we can and to help people regain their confidence to come back into Nottingham by creating a safe environment,” commented Polly Reade, a director of Nottingham BID and operations manager of JunkBars.

Ms Reade went on say: “There are a number of challenges when it comes to re-opening, and one of the most important of those is making sure consumers feel safe. The mobile platform will be an invaluable tool as we welcome people back to the city centre and by working together we’re confident we can get Nottingham back on its feet.”

Nottingham BID’s team of Street Ambassadors have now returned to the city and are on hand to support businesses with reopening and general enquiries.

During lockdown Nottingham BID worked hard to support businesses in the city centre by delivering regular communications with key information to ensure that businesses could access trustworthy and reliable information on the support available to them from government. Online activity included a new Facebook page for independent businesses in the city centre and  a updated website with dedicated COVID-19 information pages. Nottingham BID were also on hand to assist businesses with funding applications and worked with Nottingham City Council to provide levy payers with updates

Nottingham BID’s team of Taxi Marshalls adapted their services to carry out weekly security patrols to help monitor buildings and premises in the BID zone as an additional measure to deter criminal activity during the coronavirus pandemic.

Free Employee Action Programmes (EAPs) were offered by Nottingham BID to their members, allowing businesses to support their staff with personal counselling services, legal guidance, addiction support, debt advice and a financial well-being service - providing employers with a means to increase their teams’ well-being and morale.

HR and employment law advice was also available to city centre businesses through a series of webinars with experts, organised by Nottingham BID to help businesses understand the challenges of the crisis.

The team kept the public up to date with a list of businesses that continued to trade and provide essential services through lockdown. This was promoted through Nottingham BID’s consumer facing channel, It’s in Nottingham and the list is now available as a digital map, which is updated on a daily basis to highlight all the city centre businesses that are now open or who are offering takeaway services.

As well as being available for local support, Nottingham BID partnered with various organisations and national bodies to carry out research to help shape the long-term recovery of the city centre. This has resulted in a recovery support group being set up by Nottingham BID with business owners to create an action-focused partnership to help the city centre thrive; generate new and innovative ideas for the future success of the city and strengthen communications between sectors.

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