As lockdown restrictions ease and businesses across Hammersmith & Fulham reopen in the coming months, we want them to be able to flourish.
To help local traders hit the ground running, we are relaunching last year's successful temporary summer campaign to support them, by offering local footway space, or other communal public areas as extra trading space.
With residents dining at tables and chairs under canopies, or browsing stalls in outdoor markets, summer in H&F could share the vibrance of cities in continental Europe.
“While the threat of coronavirus remains, we need to completely reinvent our approach to public spaces, in a way that keeps our businesses thriving and residents safe,” said Cllr Stephen Cowan, Leader of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham.
“This means shopping locally and avoiding public transport and by us creating spaces in our public realm where people can feel safe, but still enjoy outdoor activities.
“It remains our focus for H&F to become the best place to do business in Europe, so schemes like this and our Shop Local, Shop Safe campaign are vital to supporting our high streets and keeping our local economy vibrant.”
The campaign will particularly benefit those businesses who would be otherwise unable to open, or who have had to scale down their operations.
Businesses across the borough are now being invited to apply for a space and it is hoped the campaign will lead to a flurry of new outdoor business, from those you’d expect, like al fresco dining to maybe even outdoor hairdressing - all while sticking strictly to government guidance on social distancing, of course.
How will it work?
Businesses will be invited to offer expressions of interest for outdoor space usage.
The council will then begin bespoke consultation with shops and retailers to see how we can enable them to maximise their offer while maintaining social distancing by using alternative public space.
Initially, we’ll be inviting applications from those businesses with space immediately in front of their premises, such as a wide section of footway, or frontage onto a communal area like Lyric Square, as these should be the easiest to implement.
What is Shop Local, Shop Safe?
Shop Local Shop Safe is our campaign to give our town centres, high streets, retailers, small businesses and markets a boost as the lockdown is eased, and businesses begin to reopen across Hammersmith, Fulham and Shepherds Bush.
Government advice remains that people should keep two metres between themselves and others not from their households, except where this is impossible.
Shoppers can wear a face covering to help reduce the risk of spreading the virus and businesses will be opening under the latest safety guidelines, using measures such as protective screens, hand sanitisers and distance markers, or one-way systems.
We want to help businesses to reopen safely and keep residents safe as they help give our local traders and entrepreneurs the support needed to continue to make H&F a great place to live, work and socialise.
Shop Local Shop Safe is supported by the Reopening High Streets Safely (RHSS) fund.
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