BUSINESSES in Northwich town centre are ‘cautiously optimistic about reopening next month.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that all non-essential retailers – such as those selling clothes and books – will be allowed to open from June 15, provided guidelines are met along with the Government’s five tests for easing the lockdown.

A number of business owners have been anxiously awaiting the Government revealing the date that they could reopen, with many adapting to trade online during the height of the lockdown.

And it is thought that the three weeks leading up to June 15 is an ample amount of time to prepare for returning to something resembling normality – albeit with measures in place to maintain social distancing.

“I can’t speak for all independent businesses as they’ll all have their own take on it, but generally speaking businesses are cautiously optimistic,” said Gaynor Sinar, founder of Northwich Independent Retailers Association (NIRA).

“Business owners have been asking on the NIRA Facebook group when they can reopen, and there has been talk of going to our MP to try and get some clarity on it.

“Literally a day or two later, the Government made the announcement last night giving us the clarity we needed, so that was good timing.

“It’s also a good time to come back, with three weeks being a good amount of time to get things ready for reopening.”

In preparation for reopening, Northwich BID has launched a survey asking businesses which areas they will require help in.

BID manager Jane Hough said: “By registering your plans and asking for support if you need it, you will be part of planning and promoting a robust recovery plan for Northwich town centre.

“It will also help to shape how we support businesses with sustainability and innovation.

“We want to help businesses get back on their feet and aim to work with all our partners to create and promote Northwich as a safe and healthy place to shop, visit and do business.

“That is why it is vital that as many businesses as possible take part in the survey, because we will then be able to move forward as one and give Northwich the best chance of bouncing back strongly.”

Through her role at NIRA, Gaynor believes most businesses require help with sourcing items of personal protective equipment (PPE), to ensure the safety of everyone who enters.

“Business owners have been in Zoom meetings with Jane, who has been speaking to as many people as she could,” she added.

“Many raised concerns about PPE and making sure businesses are doing the right thing, both for staff and customers.

“The last thing business owners want to do is something which puts people at risk of catching the virus.”

If you are a business owner in Northwich town centre, you can inform BID of which areas you would like support in by completing the following survey at