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Shropshire business group welcomes social distancing rule change

By James Pugh | Business | Published:

The Shropshire Business Board has welcomed the government's relaxation of the two-metre social distancing rule.

Paul Bennett, chairman of the Shropshire Business Board

It comes after the board wrote to Boris Johnson, highlighting the "devastating" impact the two-metre social distancing requirement was having on the economy.

Many business owners believed it would be impossible to reopen their doors to customers successfully with the two-metre rule in place.

Paul Bennett, chairman of the board, said: “The Shropshire Business Board was keen to influence the government's approach as the very London-centric approach to date was a very substantial barrier to effectively reopening businesses in Shropshire which face distinct challenges to those in London.

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"We are of course less reliant on public transport, we have additional green space and our towns each have unique historically driven social distancing challenges. Our population is much lower, meaning the spread of this appalling virus will be different.

"The board was unanimous they wanted Shropshire jobs and economic impact to be lodged with the Government to encourage a reduced but safe distance. We knew our submission would be one of many but it does set out the importance of mental health, the impact on employers, the risk to employees jobs and the need to balance risks.

"Businesses of course balance risks in everything we do and we have seen already Shropshire businesses adapt to the challenges effectively.

"The steps taken with signage, guidance, continued social distancing and PPE when appropriate should allow businesses to start to emerge from this challenging period. Importantly it should help the people of Shropshire have confidence that businesses have been planning for weeks to adapt and are doing so safely and effectively.

"We need a collective effort to engage with local businesses whenever practical to support jobs, training opportunities for our young people and our small business demonstrated local economy.”

James Pugh

By James Pugh
@JamesP_Star

Shropshire Star Business and Farming Editor.

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