Retail and hospitality businesses across the borough have come in for high praise, after a successful first reopening weekend since lockdown measures eased.
More than 100 licensed premises across the borough opened for business, providing outside dining and drinking last week, with the majority returning on Monday 12 April.
During this time, St Helens Borough Council has carried out more than 130 visits at licensed venues, retail and personal service businesses, and parks to help business owners reopen in a safe manner, and everyone has been on board with the approach to safety.
Merseyside Police provided reassurance visits to 57 licenses premises during the weekend.
One business that has enjoyed a successful return to trading is Cinema Bar on Duke Street.
This business has strengthened its business model after being granted a pavement license by St Helens Borough Council, opening an amazing outdoor seating area.
Hanner Mcloughlin, owner of Cinema Bar, said: “As a bar owner who is hands-on with the running of their businesses, it’s a massive relief to be back and the reaction we’ve had from customers, old and new, has been fantastic.
“Since taking on Cinema Bar, we have had lots of exciting ideas which, since Covid, haven’t yet come to fruition. We are now able to open for outside hospitality thanks to the assistance of the council, something we weren’t able to offer before. We’re hopeful and confident that it won’t be too long before we’re able to deliver these plans to further strengthen our position as a quality hospitality setting here in the town.”
Praising businesses for the way they have adapted to keep visitors safe, Lisa Harris, St Helens Borough Council’s Executive Director of Place Services, said:
“Many businesses in the hospitality and retail sector have had a challenging time this past year so it’s great to see more of them open up and even better to hear that their first week back has been a successful and safe one.
“As a council, we are committed to supporting our businesses, and that has never been clearer than during the past 12-months – the most challenging in living-memory – when we have acted quickly to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, helping put measures in place to allow businesses to trade when they could, and distributing grant funding to help these who were unable to trade.
“While it does feel as though some sort of normality has resumed, especially with the recent good weather we’ve had, I would urge businesses and residents to continue to abide by the Covid regulations by acting responsibly and respectfully as this will help us to take the next steps on St Helens Borough’s roadmap to recovery. ”
St Helens Community policing Superintendent Steve Brizell said: “It is great to see so many businesses in the St Helens area successfully open their doors and welcome back customers.
“We will continue to support and monitor businesses to ensure that they, and their customers, continue to abide by the Coronavirus regulations.
“I would like to thank all the public who have made use of these businesses in a safe and respectful manner and would continue to remind people about the current rules around meeting in groups and encourage everyone to maintain social distancing and mask wearing to protect themselves and others.”
St Helens Borough Council’s Licensing Team is encouraging businesses to get in touch to see how it can support the process of applying for a pavement café licence.
Every business will already have received an application form for a pavement café licence, which will last for a year at a cost of £100.
To find out more visit https://www.sthelens.gov.uk/business/licensing/pavement-cafe-licences/or email firstname.lastname@example.org