The aim of the campaign is to give confidence to residents as they begin to interact more with various areas of the city and to support businesses in their economic recovery. It will be used to promote the city as a whole, as well as give businesses a toolkit they can use to communicate to their own customers.

The Council has  consulted with private sector organisations through the city’s Sheffield Business Response Group to help produce ‘Make Yourself at Home’, alongside the council’s own Public Health and City Centre Management in order to align business recovery with essential public health messaging concerning Coronavirus (Covid-19).

Two men cycling in front of Sheffield skyline
Make Yourself at Home campaign

Councillor Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield City Council, said: “We want to create something that the people of the city, whether independent business owners, community centre leaders, cultural creators, entrepreneurs or individual residents, can understand, get behind and use to create a pride of place for Sheffield. We of course need to move forwards but we must also remember this is more difficult for some groups and individuals in our society. ‘Make Yourself at Home’ allows us to talk to and represent people from all walks of life, which makes it distinct from other, ‘Open for Business’ campaigns.”

Councillor Mazher Iqbal, Cabinet Member for Business and Investment at Sheffield City Council, said: “Sheffield businesses in all sectors  need our support, and we are delighted with the positive feedback we have received in sharing this with some of them in the run up to launch. We are not a city that is just ‘open for business’ – we know it takes more than that because residents need to have confidence in order to get out again – and we hope ‘Make Yourself at Home’ gives them a friendly and genuinely Sheffield way of interacting with each other as we find our way through this crisis.”

Director of Public Health at Sheffield City Council Greg Fell said:

“It is great news for the local economy that further businesses will be able to re-open from July 4th. We are confident that businesses have all the necessary safety measures in place to make sure cafés, restaurants, hotels and hairdressers can welcome the return of customers.

“The further lifting of lockdown restrictions by the Government does not mean a lift to our local safety measures and guidance around the wellbeing of our residents and we will continue to keep a careful eye on the reopening of the city’s businesses to make sure this is done to minimise risk of transmission both indoors and outdoors where people are gathered together.

“If we continue to observe the social distancing measures in place and groups maintain their advised social bubbles, we are confident that the general public will be safe as long as we all remain cautious and continue to observe the guidelines. This is essential if we are to prevent any outbreaks in the city.

“It’s important to remember that the virus is still in the community so we will see cases in Sheffield however, businesses have well-prepared plans on how they need to respond to a coronavirus incident. This includes continued plans for testing, self-isolation where appropriate, and deep cleaning advised for affected premises. As is now standard practice, any positive cases will be followed up by NHS Test and Trace, with any close contacts of cases informed and advised to self-isolate.

“The council’s Public Health team continue to work closely with colleagues at Public Health England to manage the safe reopening of the city with appropriate safety measures in place to control any future infections in Sheffield.”

Co-Chair of the Covid-19 Business Response Group, and Managing Director of Counter Context, Alexis Krachai, said: “This is a really challenging time for many people and many businesses. The Covid-19 pandemic will change many things but it will not change the city’s ability to get through tough times. We are at our strongest when we work together. ‘Make Yourself at Home’ is all about supporting local businesses and communities as life gradually moves forwards – whilst remembering the safety and comfort of home. The more businesses and organisations that say ‘Make Yourself at Home’, the more we can help every business and every community back on their feet.”

Matt Bigland, Managing Director of The Milestone Group who run a number of hospitality venues in Sheffield, said: “We have always said that all our venues need to make people feel as comfortable as they would in their own house – so as soon as we saw the ‘Make Yourself at Home’ concept we just knew it would work in the hospitality sector. It’s going to be really tough for us to match consumer demand with health regulations and still keep afloat, and that’s why something like this that makes us all feel like we are doing it together is really important for us and the city as a whole. And it ties in really nicely with a new app we will be launching very shortly to help businesses reach more customers.”

An online hub for Make Yourself at Home has been launched on the existing Welcome to Sheffield website at http://www.welcometosheffield.co.uk/makeyourselfathome  and will continue to grow over coming months to feature information guides, recommendations, guest articles and blogs, along with general support and cross promotion for businesses and organisations in all sectors.

A ‘Make Yourself at Home’ marketing toolkit is also available for anyone to download and use to promote their own business, organisation or community as part of the campaign.  http://www.welcometosheffield.co.uk/makeyourselfathome/toolkit