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  • Writer's pictureSouthend BID

Virtual Reality

w/c 23 March 2020

Within a week we have seen an unprecedented amount of change throughout the country with the Government introducing a range of measures to keep the public safe and reduce the pressure on the NHS. And with that in mind I was proud to see the nation rallying around earlier in the week with over 500,000 people volunteering their support to bolster NHS numbers.

Boris stipulated last Friday that all pubs, restaurants and cafes were to close their doors but gave the go ahead for them to continue or in some cases create takeaway and delivery services. The entrepreneurial talents of Britain shone through with many businesses changing their models almost overnight to remain operational in safe but innovative ways. We’ve seen bars offering delivery of cocktail kits, restaurants bringing Sunday roasts to your door and café’s providing pre-packed lunch boxes to go.

Days later more measures were announced to ensure the public stayed home and the majority of businesses were told to stop operating until further notice. However many businesses fall into the exceptions category as they offer food items and medicine, enable people to stay healthy or help people to stay connected. These shops could include supermarkets, pharmacies, bicycle shops, petrol stations, post offices and more. It has been a confusing week for all trying to understand what’s allowed and at the BID we’ll be sharing as much information with businesses as possible as the situation continues to develop.

These closures have been hard on all businesses with tough, rapid decisions having to be made to maintain staff and customer safety, whilst preserving the business and jobs for when we make it to the other side. It’s going to be hard for all in the short term but if we all stay home and support local businesses where possible we’ll soon be able to “cheers” again in real life instead of this new virtual reality.

- Suzanne Gloyne


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