This is part of a package of support designed to help local businesses to reopen in line with the government's recovery plan.

The council is encouraging residents to download a special poster to display in their window to show their support, saying 'we're supporting local businesses.' This can be found at www.chichester.gov.uk/supportlocal and will also appear in the council's next issue of its initiatives magazine, which will be delivered to households from 13 July.

Council officers have been out visiting the district's towns and city to assess what signage will be required and to look at what further measures may need to be introduced. These proposals have been sent to key partners including the relevant town, parish or city council and the ward member for their feedback and involvement in this process.

The council's economic development team has also been in touch with local businesses to find out if they are planning to reopen and to offer them the necessary support they may need. Social distancing signage designs have also been shared with local businesses and community groups, which can be downloaded for free. The government has also provided detailed guidance to help businesses prepare to reopen.

Visitors to the district are being asked to look for the Government's 'COVID-19 Secure' posters in High Street windows, which show that the business has completed a risk assessment and put in the necessary measures to ensure social distancing.

"It's vital that we all play our part in supporting our local businesses. We're encouraging everyone to think local - and we have produced a poster that people can display to show their support," says Cllr Martyn Bell, Cabinet Member for Growth, Place and Regeneration at Chichester District Council.

"As a council, we have been offering support and assistance to local businesses who wish to reopen. We've also provided advice and resources on our website for those who wish to access them, including free signage designs that they can download. At the moment, we are working with key partners and parish, town and city councils in our High Street areas, to develop measures and signage that are appropriate. In the first instance, due to the rapidly changing landscape, we are going to introduce temporary signage. We are then planning more long-term signage that reflects individual towns and the city as we move forward into the summer months, when people have started to get used to the social distancing requirements and when most businesses will be open.

"We're also in the process of setting up a High Street Recovery group, which will involve a range of retailers, local partners and council members. This will look at how we support our High Streets and local businesses moving forward.

"This campaign is very much a partnership with businesses, parish, town and city councils, and business associations and groups. We're also very pleased to be running this campaign in association with the Chichester and the Midhurst and Petworth Observer. It's vital that we all pull together to provide as much support to our local businesses as we can."

Chichester District Council will be working with its partners to highlight those businesses which are reopening - and will offer regular updates for those wishing to visit the district. It is advising people to follow its social media pages and its website.

Date of release: 3 June 2020

Reference: 3884