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Ilford BID here to support businesses during second lockdown

PUBLISHED: 12:00 05 November 2020

The team at Ilford BID, including manager Cyril Bekoe - centre - who has spoken to the Recorder about how the BID plans to support businesses during a second lockdown. Picture: Paul Nixon

The team at Ilford BID, including manager Cyril Bekoe - centre - who has spoken to the Recorder about how the BID plans to support businesses during a second lockdown. Picture: Paul Nixon

Paul Nixon Photography 07904296577

As the country moves back into lockdown, Ilford BID wants Redbridge businesses to know that it isn’t going anywhere.

Speaking to the Recorder on the eve of the new restrictions, BID manager Cyril Bekoe emphasised that help remains available. “From our perspective, it’s all about how we support out businesses during this time. We remain committed throughout this period to maintaining our on-street presence with the deployment of our street ambassadors within the BID boundary. Although we are concerned that businesses are having to do this for a second time, we understand the need, particularly with the R rate in Redbridge.”

As the representative of more than 390 town centre and high street businesses, the Ilford Business District has arguably never been needed more.

Cyril said the team is thinking both for now and for the future, with the immediate focus on helping businesses obtain the financial support they’re entitled to: “Our priority over the next week or so is to work with Redbridge Council to escalate grants, so businesses can access financial support quickly.”

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Attention will then shift to creating the optimum environment for a safe return, with the key being improvements In testing capacity and of rapid testing facilities in Redbridge, coupled with a robust NHS Test and Trace system: “When the app was first launched, we worked collaboratively with the council to assist our members with its implementation, because we know how important it is in terms of getting businesses back on their feet.”

In keeping with this mission, Cyril and the team have been working with the council in recent weeks on the launch of the Redbridge Covid-Assurance Scheme.

The inititive — which accredites businesses with five stars should they achieve high levels of Covid-security — is something the manager would encourage every enterprise to get on board with, if they haven’t already.

Cyril is keen to stress that, as much as lockdown must be managed, they’re already thinking of the comeback: “We are looking to the future. Though things are difficult right now and businesses are facing significant challenges, we are looking to the future and we’re committed to helping our businesses to come back stronger, whenever that may be.”

For support, contact Cyril at cyril@ilfordbid.com.


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