Councillor Stephen Cooksey, Leader of Mole Valley District Council, said: “These extraordinary times have been particularly challenging for our businesses, and employees of those businesses. The public health measures in place these past few months have seen the district’s high streets devoid of the footfall that our residents, workers and visitors provide. We have great sympathy with businesses and their employees across Mole Valley whose ability to trade has either ceased entirely or vastly reduced.
“Throughout this period, we have been working extremely hard to inform local businesses about the very latest guidance and support when it is made available by the government. Our commitment to supporting the Mole Valley business community has seen us working closely with partners to establish a range of support measures, including digital skills training, webinars and administering 1,276 business support grants worth £16,255,000*.
“With the Government slowly easing the measures in place, and the news that non-essential shops will be able to reopen with appropriate social distancing measures in place from mid-June, it is with some relief that we have been allocated a grant of just under £77,000 to help our high streets adapt. This money will be available from 1 June 2020 and will allow us to put the necessary practical measures in place to support customer confidence to return to our high streets.
“I want to make it absolutely clear that this support is not limited to our towns. It will include village high streets too. We need to kick-start our local economy – safely – as soon as possible and we are working to assess exactly how and where to implement these temporary measures, which will include assisting social distancing and making temporary public realm changes.”