Drogheda Independent

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Town centre businesses prepare return


Seating on West Street is fenced off

Seating on West Street is fenced off

Seating on West Street is fenced off

Just less than one third of businesses in the town centre area have ceased trading and one quarter have reported a turnover decrease of between 80 and 90%.

A survey under taken by the Drogheda BIDS group also found that over half of the respondents -  86 businesses - are closed.

‘We will be engaging on a weekly basis with the local authority regarding further measures to help ensure safety and a feeling of confidence for town centre users. Further measures will be proposed as more businesses re-open,’ the group stated.

Additional measures businesses would put in place include customer hand sanitiser, signage, cleaning and sanitising high touch areas, staff PPE, and manage by appointment only.

The key points are:

   *   29% have ceased trading and 26% have seen turnover decrease by between 80 and 90%

   *   69% feel as a business community, we should ensure the safety of customers and patrons and only open those businesses that can safely manage social distancing

   *   69% think temporary widening of footpaths should be considered.

   *   73% are in favour of some form of pedestrianisation

   *   87% think more street / outdoor seating should be permitted for some businesses

   *   On current perceptions of the general public visiting Drogheda town centre:

42% think - There are some people in the town centre, I can keep social distance and I feel safe.

22% think the perception is - no one should be making any unnecessary trips and continue to stay indoors.

 19% think the perception is - the shops are all closed and there is no point in going into town.

   *   On customer queuing - some businesses see this as a significant challenge, some will operate by appointment only, and some see no issue with queues.

   *   On additional measures - 81% said hand sanitiser units, 60% said Covid 19 staff training, 50% said designated times for elderly and 23% said one way walking systems

   *   On extending opening hours 60% said leave as they are, 23% would open earlier 7am and 16% would open later until 9pm

   *   On additional actions some of the suggestions included - stagger reopenings, open some shops alternate days, less cars, hand sanitiser units, Garda presence re social distancing, communal sit down areas like shopping centre food courts, collaboration.

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