Can my rural business remain open?



Many farms have diversified into other business areas and one of the questions being asked this week is can that business remain open. See the guide below which clarifies which businesses can remain open should they wish to still operate essential services for the public.

Retail businesses who fall into the category of notable exception can open including:

  • Supermarkets and other food shops
  • Medical services (such as dental surgeries, opticians and audiology clinics, physiotherapy clinics, chiropody and podiatry clinics and other professional vocational medical services)
  • Pharmacies and chemists including no-dispensing pharmacies
  • Petrol Stations
  • Bicycle shops
  • Hardware shops and equipment, plan and tool hire
  • Veterinary surgeries and pet shops
  • Agricultural supplies shops
  • Corner shops and newsagents
  • Off-licences and licensed shops selling alcohol including those within breweries
  • Launderettes and dry cleaners
  • Post offices
  • Vehicle rental services
  • Car garages and MOT services
  • Car parks
  • High street banks, building societies, short-term loan providers, credit unions and cash points
  • Storage and distribution facilities including delivery drop off points where they are on the premises of any of the above businesses
  • Public toilets

Shopping centres may stay open, but only units of the businesses listed above can trade.

Other exemptions which can stay open and may impact more on the rural community include:

  • Outdoor and indoor market stalls can stay open which offer essential retail such as groceries and food
  • Holiday rentals and campsites can still stay open where people live in them as interim abodes while their primary residence is unavailable or they live in them permanently and they may continue to do so.
  • Caravan parks and sites for commercial uses can stay open where people live permanently in them or are staying in caravan parks as interim abodes where their primary residence is not available.
  • Takeaway food and delivery facilities can remain open and operational.

Planning rules have been changed to enable restaurants, cafes and pubs which do not currently offer delivery and hot food takeaway to do so.

We are working (remotely) and can help with any queries about rural business diversification