Nicole Brolly from Fire and Ash in Coleraine. Picture by Stephen McAuley/ McAuley Multimedia.
COLERAINE BID manager Jamie Hamill is among business leaders and community representatives encouraging shoppers to return to town centres following further easing of lockdown restrictions.
Writing in The Chronicle this week as part of a seven page feature on the reopening of local shops and businesess tomorrow (Friday), Jamie claimed that every effort has been made to ensure a safe return for shoppers.
“We are all looking forward to welcoming visitors back safely to Coleraine town centre," admitted Jamie.
“We want to show that visiting your local town centre is an enjoyable, beneficial and rewarding experience which cannot be replicated online or at home.
“We have ventilated spaces, signage, town radio messaging, social distancing, new clean teams in town sanitising touch points and stores have been busy preparing for the reopenings.
“Last Friday, our close contact services were allowed to reopen and it is very clear that our local beauticians, hairdressers, nail bars and tattoo artists have taken every measure to follow the guidance to welcome back their clients to a safe environment.
"Coleraine town centre offers wide pedestrian areas which allows plenty of room for social distancing.
“Our local close contact businesses are experts in their fields and have adapted their stores and procedures so as our community can finally get some TLC.
"As we emerge from this lockdown, we would like to thank our community for supporting local and trusting Coleraine Town Centre.
“We look forward now to the safe reopening of our other retail businesses and in the near future our hospitality sector," he added.
That message was reinforced by the present of the Causeway Chamber, David Boyd.
“As our businesses prepare to reopen, we would encourage everyone to eat local, shop local, and support local," he said.
“Businesses are doing their best to ensure a safe environment for everyone therefore we urge everyone to play their part, reduce the spread and help our business community to survive.
“Having persistently pressed the Executive to give businesses which have been forced to remain closed for almost four months dates for reopening, Causeway Chamber is pleased to see that Ministers have done just that," he added.
From Friday (April 30) a number of relaxations are to be introduced including the reopening of all retail, the reopening of licensed and unlicensed premises - outdoors only - and the remooval of a curfew on takeaways and off licences.
* For more on this, pick up a copy of this week's Chronicle - out now!