Aberdeenshire Council launches innovative new scheme to help get North-east firms back into business

Aberdeenshire Council has launched an innovative new scheme to help businesses get back up and running as our town centres look to reopen.

As lockdown restrictions ease in the coming weeks, communities are looking at how they can make their town centres more accessible.

For many businesses - particularly those in the hospitality, visitor and night-time economies - tough decisions will have to be made on how to open quickly yet viably.

While certain restrictions are in place, businesses will have to find different ways of working which may require various regulatory elements including road permits for utilising outdoor space, planning permissions and changes to licencing.

To streamline that process and reduce timescales on any necessary decision-making, Aberdeenshire Council has created a one-stop-shop for business enquiries with a strategic group of officers from Economic Development, Licencing, Environmental Health and Trading Standards, Planning, Transportation, Legal and Roads & Landscape now in place to handle enquiries.

Businesses are asked to email any queries to easinglockdownsupport@aberdeenshire.gov.uk where their enquiry will be handled through this innovative new joined-up approach.

A series of online webinars have been arranged to share information and to answer as many questions as possible. These will take place on Thursday, June 18, Tuesday, June 23 and Wednesday, June 25 – all commencing 5.30pm.

Information and advice will be available on the easing lockdown portal: https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/covid-19/reopening-businesses/

Welcoming the new initiative, Councillor Peter Argyle, chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, said: “We hope that in setting up this group we make this process as streamlined and as stress-free as possible to assist all businesses to open up as soon as possible.

“Hopefully, the information detailed within the portal and through the webinars will be of direct benefit to the businesses seeking to re-open.”

Vice-chair, Councillor John Cox, added: “This is an extremely difficult and uncertain time for businesses and employees within the hospitality, leisure and tourism industries in particular.

“This new joint way of working will speed up the decision-making process cutting down the processes to a joined-up one-council delivery and will give businesses the opportunity to engage with council services, access advice and information to facilitate the reopening of the various business within these sectors extremely important to Aberdeenshire’s day and night time economies.”