March 24 coronavirus update for businesses

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Prime minister strengthens message to public

Prime minister Boris Johnson has introduced tougher guidelines in order to curb the spread of coronavirus. These include advising as many people as possible to work from home, limiting shopping trips to the basic necessities, and only to leave the house for exercise and to help vulnerable people. All gatherings of more than two people must be avoided.

Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: "Businesses must play their part to help limit the spread of Coronavirus. As the UK goes into lockdown, ministers must be crystal-clear about which businesses can continue to operate, and those which must now shut their doors.

“The new restrictions make it all the more important that the massive package of financial support announced by ministers last week is delivered to firms and employees on the ground as quickly as possible.”

Lancashire businesses close their doors

Businesses, shops and tourist destinations throughout the county and beyond have been forced to close for an unknown period of time.

Beaverbrooks the Jewellers has closed all of its 69 stores. Anna Blackburn, managing director, said: "The safety and wellbeing of our customers, our colleagues and the wider community remain our top priority and we want to do what’s best by them. So it is with an extremely heavy heart that we’ve taken the decision to close all of our 69 stores.

"This decision will obviously greatly affect our hundreds of store colleagues, our Beaverbrooks family, and supporting them is our number one focus right now. In the meantime, our website and our fabulous customer service team are still 100 per cent here for our customers. At times like these, love is more important than ever, so for any special moments you wish to celebrate, we are continuing to take and deliver all orders with no delays to deliveries at this time."

The Villa Hotel at Wrea Green has also closed. Jayne Taylor, operations director, said: "The Villa is temporarily closed until further notice. The health, safety and wellbeing of all our customers and staff is our absolute priority. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our amazing staff and loyal customers for their support during these difficult times. A warm welcome awaits you when we are able to re-open."

novi.digital offers low-cost services to vulnerable industries

Lancaster-based digital marketing agency novi.digital is offering performance-based SEO and PPC marketing to businesses in sectors most affected by the global health crisis. Free audits are available to companies specialising in events, hospitality, travel and tourism, health and healthcare, baby products, industrial and business products, and groceries and food produce. Services will be available for a minimal administrative cost.

Aaron Crewe, managing director, said: "As a digital marketing agency with a number of revenue streams, we are in a privileged position to be able to continue trading throughout these conditions. That’s why we are keen to offer up any assistance we can so that businesses are able to keep their heads above water during this difficult time. We are working on a number of initiatives with clients currently that will be launched shortly but we are also open to working with other businesses that get in touch on any unique ideas they may have."

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