Although “Freedom Day” is on hold for now, retail, visitor economy and hospitality businesses in Greater Lincolnshire and Rutland have once again opened their doors to the public.
But despite these businesses being overjoyed to welcome customers back, for many, the transition was not as simple as flipping that sign back from closed to open.
The pandemic means there are now more rules and regulations for businesses to consider than ever before, from new health and safety legislation to social distancing guidelines. Many businesses also opted to diversify during lockdown, selling online or exploring new sources of income, which could also come with additional regulations. Fortunately, the Business Lincolnshire Growth Hub can help businesses with all of their trading standards concerns – not just during COVID-19, but also beyond.
Business Lincolnshire’s Trading Standards Adviser Angela Kane provides a safe space where businesses can seek help with their trading standards issues, without fear of enforcement and at no cost to the business.
One business that has benefitted from trading standards support is Korbond. Founded in 1956, the Grantham-based business designs, sources and supplies haberdashery, craft and clothes care with supplementary categories in homeware, gifts, promotion and travel. Alex Batty, Safety, Health, Environment and Quality Manager at Korbond, became concerned about additional trading standards legislation after the business decided to expand its product range into new areas.
She said: “Our General Manager heard about the Growth Hub’s trading standards support through a local business group. Angela offered to come in and meet us, and I jumped at the opportunity to sit down and have a conversation with an expert.
“She was friendly and open. She let me run through all of my questions, and if she wasn’t sure of something at the time, she followed up at a later date with the answers or signposted me to someone who could help.
“Her advice was comprehensive, and she made it clear that I could contact her for further guidance whenever I needed it. The whole experience was really helpful!”
Due to the nature of their business, the majority of Korbond’s products fall under general product safety regulations. However, since introducing their travel range a few years ago, which includes items such as first-aid kits and adapters, they’d had to consider other types of trading standards legislation.
Alex explained: “We just don’t have that type of legal expertise in the business. It was hugely beneficial to have someone with the knowledge to point us in the right direction and make the red tape less confusing.”
Angela’s advice has given the business the confidence to explore platforms such as Amazon, as well as allowed them to be proactive with customer enquiries regarding health and safety.
Alex added: “We’re continuing to expand our product ranges and grow our business into Europe. Being able to go to a real person for advice made a huge difference – I don’t understand why you wouldn’t go to them for support!”
Can fully-funded trading standards support from the Business Lincolnshire Growth Hub put your mind at ease? Visit the Business Lincolnshire website to find out more: https://www.businesslincolnshire.com/contact/