The Chamber is are aware that recent confirmed cases of coronavirus have increased Haslemere’s profile and led to concerns about the safety of local shops and businesses. On behalf of our members, we’d like to send a very clear message that it’s business as usual in Haslemere.
President of the Haslemere & District Chamber of Trade & Commerce, Craig McGowan said: “Haslemere is open for business. Our town is full of individual owner-occupied businesses that have been able to respond immediately to events and continue to offer customers the warm, friendly and safe shopping and socialising environment they know and love.
We’re in an ideal situation for visits as shops and business are fully prepared and aware of the situation regarding the Coronavirus. Local businesses are going the extra mile to reassure staff and customers that they are taking the threat of the virus seriously but are also getting on with the business of welcoming people to our lovely town.”
Chamber members have reported that while trade in the town was quieter than usual over the weekend, visitor numbers are climbing and people are shopping, working and socialising in Haslemere as usual. Local retailers, pubs, restaurants and entertainment venues are playing their part in preventing the spread of the virus by following government guidance and introducing additional hygiene procedures where necessary.
Oli Leach of Oliver’s Coffee Shop and Wine Bar said: “Haslemere is still a great place to visit, shop and socialise. Heightened awareness of the virus because of local cases means that we’ve been well-placed to respond and plan accordingly. We’re following advice from the NHS and Public Health England to sneeze or cough into a tissue, frequent handwashing and cleaning surfaces that people tend to touch a lot, such as door handles. Customer numbers are stable and we’d encourage as many people as possible to come and visit the town – we’re open for business.”
Haslemere has many independent businesses that can adapt, for instance, if staff need time off for self-isolation. Chamber members have confirmed that they are confident with the authorities’ response to the virus so far and will respond to any new government advice and information as it becomes available.