Calls to Herefordshire Council to bring back staff back to the office have been made by the leader of the Hereford Business Improvement District (Hereford BID), CEO Mike Truelove, as the organisation says local business vitally needs the essential trade workers provide during the week.

Mike commented ‚Äúlocally based staff provide a significant and important source of trade for the Hereford economy, particularly during the working week, and without them many shops are struggling now that schools have returned. We are calling on the Council to help support our shops and businesses by setting an example ‚Äď we‚Äôre asking them to show through direct action their support for our shops by bringing their own staff back to the office‚ÄĚ. The call comes after Boris Johnson announced businesses should decide if and when it is safe for workers to return.

Mike added ‚ÄúWithout a change of policy we at the Hereford BID fear that irreversible damage may be caused to business who simply want to welcome their once loyal customers back. Now that many of the financial grants and schemes are coming to an end shop owners are seriously scratching their hands and wondering when people will return. I do think we all need to ask ourselves how much we value our shops, many of which are independents who have been in the city for decades. Kind words and sympathy are good for a while but what really counts is direct action ‚Äď where it is safe to return, we need workers to come back to the office and buy their lunches, clothes, shoes etc. With so much work carried out by organisations on risk assessments and preventative measures, surely in many council offices it is now safe to work?‚ÄĚ.

The Hereford BID recently reported that footfall had been buoyant during the summer months with the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme and ‚Äėstaycations‚Äô, although significantly down on last year.