Help for independent retailers to upgrade security

A £5m Retail Crime Action Plan is launched today for small retailers. Grants of up to £3,000 are being offered to upgrade their security includes cash for alarm systems, metal grills and similar anti-theft devices and banknote-testing kits.

Also as part of the Retail Crime Action Plan, published today by the Home Office, shopkeepers will be able fill in an online risk assessment form to help them improve security.

The new risk assessment tool has been developed by crime prevention experts, which businesses can complete online to identify simple measures they can take to reduce the risk of crime. The online tool is available on the Home Office website and takes 10-15 minutes to complete. Retailers are then given advice on simple things they can do to improve the security of their store and who they can contact for help.

Home Office minister Alan Campbell said: “Small businesses play a vital role in our communities and I am determined to ensure that small businesses are not taken advantage of during these hard economic times, by providing real support where it is most needed.”

“From today we are providing real help to businesses with a £5 million fund to pay for improved security in the places it is most needed.”

“The Government is committed to working with industry and police to tackle the crimes that affect them such as shoplifting, anti-social behaviour and robbery, particularly during this economic downturn, where certain crimes will face upward pressure.”

Retailers will be able to bid for grants through their local crime disorder reduction partnerships (CDRPs). Groups of businesses in a certain area, such as a parade of shops, can also team up to bid for bigger grants of up to £50,000. These can be used to improve a neighbourhood with landscaping or additional lighting.

I am not sure at this stage  which geographical areas this scheme covers yet or how easy it will be claim but as, The Federation of Small Businesses claims that crimes  cost small businesses on average £13,500 per year, the assistance is most welcome.

You can check out more details and take the on-line assessment at the Home Office website here

Tony Heywood – Gilcrest Services Ltd
Retail Troubleshooter
Business Turnaround and Recovery

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