BUSINESSES in the town have bounced back from the coronavirus crisis faster than many parts of the country with firms prioritising safety to meet returning demand.

Warrington Chamber of Commerce – which represents and supports firms in the borough – has hailed how company bosses have responded.

Interim chief executive Stephen Fitzsimons said when the lockdown was implemented back in March many of its members lost some or all of their income straight away.

"They had to adapt quickly and this was most evident through the remote working technologies that were soon in widespread use," he added.

“It was really encouraging to see office-based companies utilise applications such as Zoom and Teams in order to maintain an effective management process.

“Customer facing businesses had to innovate further, with websites enhanced to facilitate click and collect, home deliveries and other flexible solutions.

“Warrington has bounced back faster than most English towns and cities, as evidenced by the recent Centre for Cities report and car park volumes provided by Warrington Borough Council and Golden Square.

“This means that many town centre operators in retail, hospitality and leisure have reopened with safety measures in place to meet the returning demand.

“Whilst national operators such as Costa, Boots and Debenhams have announced redundancies, local traders are reporting encouraging sales figures and the Chamber has been approached by companies keen to recruit young people through the recently launched Kickstart initiative.

“Elsewhere, the town’s business parks are quieter than usual as workers are being given the opportunity to combine the flexibility of working from home with the motivational benefits of being in the office with their colleagues.”

But along with figures across the town, Mr Fitzsimons is certainly not overlooking the prospect of a second national lockdown, or a local one.

He said: “There is an understandable amount of concern for a local or national lockdown because it does affect the ability to do business effectively.

“However, Chamber members accept that public safety must come first and if a second wave arrives, they are better prepared to respond than they were in March.

“UK business would again look to the Government for financial support, with the grants for small business, retail, hospitality and leisure a welcome safety net over the challenging early summer months.”