North East Lincolnshire Council is warning local businesses not to be pressured into buying a service they are not sure about during the COVID-19 pandemic.
There have been reports where businesses have been approached by people claiming to be from the council, offering to carry out COVID-19 Secure risk assessments, with the threat of shutting them down if they do not comply or display a certificate.
No council officer will ask for a fee for such a service and will always produce official identification with a photograph, the NELC logo and details of the officer’s role.
Councillor Ron Shepherd, portfolio holder for safer and stronger communities, said: “Don’t ever be pressured or forced into buying a service or a product. If you’re unsure, do not part with your money and seek advice.
“Any business receiving a visit from sales people claiming to be linked to the council, or suggesting they could have the business closed down and asking for money to supply a certificate, floor markings and sanitiser stations as part of their service is asked by Trading Standards officers to decline the service offered and report the visit to Trading Standards via the council’s website.”
Traders can obtain free guidance from the council to make sure their business is COVID Secure by submitting a request via the council’s website at www.nelincs.gov.uk/coronavirus.
The council will never ask for a fee for COVID-19 advice. Businesses can print a COVID Secure certificate for free at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb959f5e90e0708370f97f9/staying-covid-19-secure-accessible.pdf.
The council has created a range of printed materials including posters and vinyl floor stickers that are free for businesses to use. There is also a digital toolkit with further electronic resources to use. The materials can be downloaded from www.nelincs.gov.uk/business-support.
People can use the ‘report it’ form at www.nelincs.gov.uk/coronavirus to tell us about businesses that are not following the COVID-19 secure guidelines.