Re-Opening of our Economy

This page gives business information and guidance when re-opening their stores during Covid-19
Boston Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Recovery Plan

Easier street seating arrangements for cafes, restaurants and bars to help businesses recover

Lincolnshire County Council is working with the district councils to make it easier for businesses to use areas of the highway for seating to allow their customers to social distance.

Businesses will be able to apply online for a free pavement licence and it will be determined in just ten working days or less, following consultation with local agencies and the public.

We are also extending this policy to shop owners who may wish to place a stall on the street outside their premises.

The new licencing process is temporary to support businesses while social distancing measures may still be in place. Once approved, the licence will be valid until the end of September 2021.

Cllr Richard Davies, executive member for highways at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “This is an overhaul of the previous street café licensing, to streamline the process and help kick start the local economy safely.

“The temporary licences are free – so that’s one less bill for local businesses to worry about – and will last until next September.

“Social distancing measures have unfortunately cut the capacity in bars, restaurants and cafes considerably. Being able to use the street outside their premises will help businesses bounce back after three months with their doors closed, and bring life back into our town centres.

“In some areas, this could drastically change the street scene, and we’re confident that Lincolnshire’s business-owners will be able to make this a success.”

For a pavement licence, businesses will need to:

  • Outline how many tables and chairs they want to put on the highway, and where.
  • Specify the days of the week and times that the furniture will be on the highway.
  • Show they have public liability insurance for at least £5m.
  • Demonstrate that they have consulted neighbouring properties if they plan to extend beyond their frontage.
  • Obtain a licence from their district council if they wish to serve alcohol.
  • Not obstruct pedestrians or traffic, including parking and deliveries.

For more information or to apply for a licence, visit or email

New legislation is being considered by the Government which moves the responsibility for pavement licences from the county council to district councils. We will continue to work with our district council colleagues but the pavement licence scheme may be subject to slight changes in some areas when the new legislation takes effect – this includes Lincoln, where the city council has confirmed it will run its own separate scheme.

Open for Business Campaign

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is encouraging business owners and shop workers to take photos in front of their ‘open’ sign and post these on their social media channels as part of the #OpenForBusiness Campaign.

To support the campaign, please do the following:

  • Take a photo of yourself in front of your reopening business, preferably in front of an ‘Open’ sign
  • Post the picture on your social media channels
  • Use #openforbusiness
  • Tag the Department for Business: Instagram: @beisgovuk / Twitter: @beisgovuk / Facebook: @industrialstrategygovuk

They are also looking for short self-shot videos of ‘a day in the life’ of staff in reopening businesses, so they can show the extra measures businesses are taking to keep employees and customers safe. If you think you, or a staff member would be interested in working with them on a video like this, please get in touch with

VisitEngland “Get Ready to Open” Business Resource Centre

To help tourism businesses to prepare for reopening, the Business support team at VisitEngland have developed a new website to bring together all the guidance and resources available to businesses. This is an excellent resource for all businesses and will be added to when the new Government Guidance for the industry and associated protocols are published. It also includes a wide range of webinars that businesses can sign up to on topics ranging from market insights to how to using technology to maximise business.

Visit Britain - 'We're Good to Go'

Boston is pleased to be in at the launch of a new scheme that aims to boost confidence as tourist venues start to re-open.

Visit Britain has launched a UK-wide industry standard and consumer mark – ‘We’re Good to Go’ – to help businesses demonstrate that they are following government and public health guidance, have carried out a Covid-19 risk assessment and have the required safety systems in place.

The scheme is free to join and open to all businesses in the sector.

To obtain the mark, businesses must complete a self-assessment, including a check-list confirming they have put the necessary processes in place, before receiving certification and the ‘We’re Good To Go’ mark for display in their premises and online.

Tourist venues run by Boston Borough Council are already in the process of applying for the mark.

For details of how to apply, visit


Important safety information for our local businesses

The challenges businesses have faced over the last few months have been unprecedented; whether the business you pay business rates for has remained open or will be re-opening in the near future, we want to continue offering you all of the support and assistance we reasonably can.  To help us do that, we would be really grateful if you could email us at to either confirm what hours you are currently operating (where applicable) or let us know when you hope to reopen and what hours you are planning to operate?

As you should already know, every business, whether trading currently or waiting to reopen, needs to have a plan in place about how your work can be carried out safely during the Covid-19 pandemic and how you can keep as many people as possible at least 2 metres apart from anyone that they do not already live with.

Preventing the spread Covid-19 within businesses must be managed and must be done by assessing the risks through a risk assessment, which all businesses have to do.  As you know, you need to put in place safe systems of work to make sure that you protect yourself, your employees, your contractors and members of the public from being infected with Covid-19 through any and all of your business activities.  If you have five or more employees then your risk assessment must be written down and you will need to share the results of your risk assessment with all of your colleagues. Advice from the Health and Safety Executive on how to carry out a risk assessment is accessible at

In addition to the Government’s ‘5 Steps to Working Safely Guidance’, and the Health and Safety Executives ‘Working safely during the coronavirus outbreak – a short guide’, the Government has produced eight business sector specific guidance documents to help you manage your risks; as responsible businesses, you will have already seen these we are sure; however, for ease, all of these documents can all be accessed from the following links:

As employers supporting the national response tackling this pandemic, your role in ensuring that all of your staff fully understand their role and responsibilities in adhering to your safe system of work is essential and we remain fully committed to helping you comply fully with all of the Health and Safety requirements placed on you by the Law.

If you would like any further advice or information then please visit our website at ,  email us at , or contact us on 01205 314200.  See below an easy read leaflet that we hope you find useful.

Our very best wishes to you and all of your teams
Boston Business, Tourism and Community Support Team


Q. I only employ two members of staff, so do I still need to do a risk assessment?
A. Yes. All employers need to carry out risk assessments. If you have fewer than five employees, the law doesn’t require you to put this in writing, but you still need to consult with your staff and share the results of your risk assessment with them.

Q. Will I be able to try clothes on once the shops re-open?
A. No. The Government has advised clothes shops to keep fitting rooms closed.

Q. How can I make sure customers follow social distancing rules?
A. You need to work out the maximum number of customers to allow for 2-metre social distancing. You will need to limit the number of customers who can come into your shop at any one time, and use social distancing markers on the floor. Consider using a one-way system, and encourage customers to shop alone. You will also need to manage any queues outside your shop.

Q. Will shops provide hand sanitiser for customers?
A. Shops have been asked to put adequate measures in place to keep customers safe, including regular cleaning and sanitising of touch-points. Please don’t forget, though, that your safety is not just the shop’s responsibility – you also need to take steps to protect yourself, so you may wish to carry some hand sanitiser with you.

Q. Will I be able to browse in the shops I visit?
A. Where possible, you should keep browsing to a minimum and visit shops with a clear idea of what you want to buy. Please avoid picking up items and putting them back down – only touch goods that you intend to purchase.

Q. My shop is self-service. What do I do about people touching items and putting them back?
A. Put signage around the shop asking customers only to pick up items they plan to buy. Provide hand sanitiser at points around the store.

Q. What about can I take my partner/children shopping with me?
A. Current government advice is that shopping trips should be done alone, unless you need specific assistance. However, if your children are too young to stay at home you may take them with you, although some shops have imposed their own restrictions on children.

Q. Am I limited to a certain amount of time in each shop I go in?
A. There is no official time limit, but shoppers are asked to touch only the items they want to buy. Some shops may impose their own limits.

Q. What if I want to return an item?
A. Shops are being asked to set up no-contact procedures where customers can return goods to a designated area. Refunds should also be contactless if possible.

Q. Can I pay cash?
A. There is no specific guidance on cash, although customers are encouraged to use cards, preferably contactless, when paying for goods. Some shops are now refusing to take cash, so check with the shop.

Q. Who is responsible for cleaning baskets and trolleys down?
A. Shops are being asked to frequently clean high-touch areas such as trolleys, baskets and door handles. Thorough cleaning will form part of their risk assessment. However, individuals are also responsible for their own safety, and you may wish to take sanitising wipes with you.

Q. What data as a business do I need to collect from customers?

Social distancing
There appears to be some confusion with the 2m distancing review. Please keep 2m social distancing unless it is not possible then stick to 1m plus mitigations.

See the Government explanation below:
What does the review of 2m mean in practice?
From 4 July, people should either stay 2m apart or ‘1m plus’ – which is one metre plus mitigations. These mitigations will depend on the workplace or setting. For example, on public transport, people must wear a face covering, as it is not always possible to stay 2m apart.
In other spaces, mitigations could include installing screens, making sure people face away from each other, putting up handwashing facilities, minimising the amount of time you spend with people outside your household or bubble, and being outdoors.

Better Business for All - COVID-19 toolkit provided by Business Lincolnshire

Toolkit Downloads

Our materials were designed in-house at Boston Borough Council and printed by The Boston Sign Company 

Lolly pop stick – 2m distancing

Stay Safe stencil

Information for customers – poster

Helpful Information for businesses – poster