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IRC launches ‘We are open' online directory to promote small shops and business still open

14 May 2020

Open shops and small businesses are urged to add themselves to the new ‘We are open' interactive map
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FCA seeks legal judgement to clarify whether insurers should pay CV-19 claims made by firms

14 May 2020

More than a million businesses forced to close during the coronavirus lockdown may know whether insurers will have to pay previously rejected business interruption claims in a matter of... Read more…

Free ActSmart subscription to help businesses through Covid-19

14 May 2020

ActSmart are offering three months of FREE access to to a range of services and support with the ActSmart bronze subscription in return for a small charitable donation
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250 free-of-charge digital Out of Home campaigns offered to local businesses

13 May 2020

Free Out of Home campaigns will help local entrepreneurs across the UK to highlight how they've adapted to continue trading in the current circumstances.
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Working safely during COVID-19 in shops and branches

13 May 2020

A summary of the specific guidance for shops on working safely
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How consumer behaviour has changed among the British public in the face of COVID-19

10 May 2020

Recent research undertaken by the Institute of Customer Service displays evidence that the British public now place higher value on customer service that they did before COVID-19
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Government will deliver a "tapered" end to furlough scheme

5 May 2020

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has promised there will be no "cliff-edge" cut-off to the government's job retention scheme to support workers through the coronavirus pandemic.
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Coronavirus Testing available for shop workers

30 Apr 2020

The Government has extended COVID-19 testing to essential workers with symptoms and people who live with essential workers and have symptoms. This includes anyone with symptoms whose work cannot... Read more…

Best practice on offering and processing ‘card not present' payments

23 Apr 2020

This guidance is designed to inform retailers about best practice on offering and processing ‘card not present' payments during the Covid-19 outbreak.
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Get ready to make your claim under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme today!

20 Apr 2020

As of today employers can make a claim through the Job Retention Scheme if they have put their employees on temporary leave (furlough) because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
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Nearst enables you to stay in contact with your customers via Whatsapp

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ActSmart partner NearSt introduce the option to add WhatsApp chat functionality on your NearSt shop page!

As more people are beginning to self-isolate many shops are having to introduce more methods to keep running their businesses running. It's a rapidly changing situation for shops and communication with your customers plays an important role.

To help make it as easy as possible for your customers to contact you, NearSt have rapidly developed the option to add WhatsApp chat functionality on your NearSt shop page. The new service is available from today, is completely free, and will allow shoppers to contact you directly via WhatsApp.

All you need is a WhatsApp Business Account to receive any messages sent through your shop page. Setting up a WhatsApp Business account is very simple (and free!), and will take you less than a minute. It gives you a very easy way to be reachable for your customers, without giving away your personal mobile phone number or mixing personal and business messages.

Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Download the WhatsApp Business app on your iPhone or Android phone.
  2. Once you open the app, you will be asked to enter a phone number. It's recommended to use your shop's landline number for that!
  3. It will try to send an SMS to that number at first, which might fail in the case of a landline, but you will then be able to request an automated phone call with the code needed to verify the number. After that's done, you'll get a chance to set your business name and some other optional details, like an address and opening hours.
  4. Once everything is set up, go into Business Settings > Short Link and copy the link WhatsApp has generated. Send that link to, and we'll connect it up to your NearSt shop page!

If you have any questions or need any support getting set up feel free to get in touch with the team at NearSt who will be happy to help

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