THE Council has introduced some new additions to the recovery efforts in local town centres and shopping centres.
A team of ‘marshals’ have been out and about each Saturday in Antrim, Ballyclare, Crumlin, Glengormley and Randalstown providing advice to shoppers and supporting local businesses.
They are easily recognisable in their high visibility ‘Back to Business’ vests.
And while they are friendly and approachable, the message is deadly serious.
Designed to act as a point of contact for customers and visitors, each marshal has a supply of free face coverings to distribute and also a supply of signs for businesses that might need them to display on their premises.
The Mayor, Councillor Jim Montgomery has joined the marshals on their Saturday rounds and has been ‘greatly encouraged’ by the response from both shoppers and businesses alike.
“Central to our town centre recovery is building confidence within our business community and encouraging people to shop local within safe and secure environments,” said Councillor Montgomery.
“As a Council, we are committed to supporting the measures in place to stop the spread of COVID-19, including wearing face coverings, adhering to social distancing and regularly washing our hands.”
And it seems that the message is being positively received.
“Encouragingly, the feedback from the marshals has been really positive with the majority of people wearing masks or where they have forgotten theirs, are very happily accepting one,” said the Mayor.
“Equally, our businesses have stepped up to the challenge, managing the numbers of customers within their shops to keep everyone safe and displaying signage to remind people of the key messages.
“I’d like to encourage everyone to show respect to staff in all of the shops and businesses across the Borough as they continue to provide their services during this time.
“The Council will continue to work with partners in Health and the PSNI to keep the Borough, our residents and visitors, as safe and secure as we can and we thank you for your assistance.”
For more information on help that is available to businesses visit the coronavirus section of the council’s website or text BUSINESS to 80039.