Mobility shop
An accreditation scheme assessing COVID-19 safety measures in small businesses that directly interact with the public, such as mobility shops, has been extended following a successful pilot.

The scheme was set up by City of London Corporation with the London boroughs of Camden and Southwark to reassure customers that premises, such as pubs, restaurants, gyms, hairdressers and shops, are safe to visit.

Under the scheme, local government environmental health practitioners assess businesses’ COVID-19 risk assessments and procedures, and carry out site visits to look at social distancing measures, customer track and trace, and cleanliness.

Firms that pass are given a sticker to display on their premises and the result will be posted on each local authority and the City Corporation’s websites. Those that fail are given the opportunity to put into place remedial measures.

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Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s environmental services committee, Keith Bottomley, said: “We are pleased that city firms have stepped forward to take part over the last few months and we urge more businesses to take part in the scheme as soon as possible.

“We need to show the public that we are back open, and we are open safely.

“Increasing customer confidence in safety provisions will help pubs, restaurants and shops in central London to responsibly increase much needed footfall.”

The pilot was set up in September last year and was the first of its kind launched by a UK governing body.

Small businesses that directly interact with the public and are signed up to the scheme are eligible to apply to a new Covid-19 Business Recovery Fund set up by the City of London Corporation.

The fund is designed to support SMEs which contribute to the Square Mile’s vibrancy at street level and directly provide services to returning City workers, visitors and residents.

It aims to support those businesses that can show through the grant application process, a likelihood that with support, they have a reasonable chance to survive beyond the short-term.

Mobility and access firms that deal with a largely vulnerable customer base are becoming increasingly keen to show that they are complying with government guidance on providing a COVID-safe environment.

Mobility equipment supplier Electric Mobility recently released a selection of images for its network of mobility dealers to use which demonstrate social distancing, compliance with mask wearing and outdoor activities to help maximise selling potential even during the most difficult times.

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