SPECIALIST help will be provided to local Jewish businesses to help them cope and recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Bury Council has appointed Rafael Katz as a business engagement Covid support officer, recognising the unique challenges faced by companies which have been badly hit by lockdown measures.

The role is one of three dedicated posts across the borough, and is for a 12-month period, working alongside Bury Council’s trading standards team.

Mr Katz is to support businesses within the Jewish community, by providing advice and guidance to help businesses to reopen and remain open safely and with confidence.

He will also provide guidance in producing Covid risk assessments and associated measures and information to ensure businesses within the community are aware of and are able to access all of the available support.

Mr Katz said: “After teaching Biblical Hebrew in Bury and Salford schools for 12 years, I went into business as a commercial mediator accredited by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. In addition to mediating commercial and personal disputes, for the past three years I have consulted with SME business owners and investors on all matters relating to mergers and acquisitions.

“I am passionate about businesses growing and thriving. It is my aim to support business in Bury in adapting to the challenges of the pandemic so they can continue to operate safely and effectively,

“I also look forward to raising awareness among the business community of the services and support that Bury Council provides, and to develop positive channels of communication between the council and front line business owners.”

Cllr Richard Gold, who represents Bury on the Jewish Community Strategic Group, said: “The pandemic has had a tremendous impact on businesses across the borough. It’s important that we help all sections of our community to meet these challenges and be in the best position to recover.”

Council leader, Eamonn O’Brien, added: “It is essential that we do all we can to support local businesses which are vital to the health of our economy and provide many jobs.”

To contact Rafael, email him at r.d.katz@bury.gov.uk