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Coronavirus recovery blueprint announced for businesses and residents in Broadland and South Norfolk

Published: Wednesday, 5th August 2020

Broadland and South Norfolk Councils have announced plans on how they will support and drive the economic recovery and provide help for communities across the two districts,

The COVID-19 pandemic has been and continues to be the biggest challenge this country has faced in generations. Its impact on people’s health and wellbeing and our local economies is still being felt and the pandemic is not yet over.

The recovery plan sets out how the two Councils continue to look after their vulnerable residents and provide help for local businesses into the future.

Since the lockdown in March the Councils have awarded more than £50million in grant payments to local businesses from government funding and processed more than 4,000 business grants. Both districts have around 90% of micro businesses – i.e. no more than two employees – which are in particular need of support.

For residents, the Councils have provided more than £1million in council tax assistance. The recovery plan considers how to support residents’ mental health and well-being. The Councils Help Hubs, which make sure people in difficulty get help as soon as possible, have continued to operate throughout the pandemic. A Hardship Fund was also set up to help residents in need pay for food and other essentials.

The recovery plan includes:

  • Unlocking business opportunities through the Councils’ regulatory powers to support small businesses to set up or recover including a review of business rates.
  • Continuing to promote our market towns and high streets as part of the Shop in Confidence Campaign to shop and eat out locally.
  • Using the Councils’ licensing powers to support key businesses affected by the pandemic e.g. trading hours.
  • Reviewing and improve measures to ensure clean, safe and vibrant public spaces
  • Continuing to work with partners to ensure people in hardship are supported to become independent
  • Understanding how to work more closely with voluntary and neighbourhood groups who provided support during the crisis and review the Councils’ Help Hubs which help people experiencing difficulties from mental health issues to debt advice.

Broadland District Council leader, Cllr Shaun Vincent said they were determined to help businesses recover quickly while continuing to support residents that need help the most. He said:

“This plan ensures that local businesses are helped, not hindered, through the recovery, and can bounce back to prosperity. We will use our statutory, regulatory, licencing and financial powers to offer something practical to local businesses.

“Broadland has community at its heart and with our deep understanding of local issues, we are best placed to lead this recovery.”

South Norfolk Council Leader Cllr John Fuller, OBE said the crisis has proved, once again, that local works. He said:

“We will measure our success by the way that businesses and consumers can get back to normal as quickly as possible in towns, industrial estates and villages and by how many jobs can be saved, if not created. Together we will work to ensure South Norfolk continues to be a great place for businesses to invest, grow and thrive.”

The recovery plan is available on both Councils’ websites. It is based on a six point plan around three key themes.

Economy: Creating clean, safe and vibrant public spaces. Supporting every business to drive the growth of the economy and employment.

Communities: Develop our Community Hub and partnership working model. Support our individuals and families through an effective Hardship offer.

Organisation and Governance: Secure our finances through transformation and commercialisation. Reimagine our service delivery and ways of working.

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