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Cambridge City Council

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Council pledges additional support for businesses and city centre during national lockdown

News release from 16 November 2020

CAMBRIDGE City Council is implementing a number of initiatives to support local businesses including market and street traders, and to provide assistance to city centre workers in essential businesses, during the current national lockdown. 

Businesses in Cambridge which have been required to close or restrict their services during the latest national lockdown can now claim a government support grant via the council website. 

The Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) is available to qualifying businesses with a rateable value and which were open as usual, providing face-to-face services to customers from their premises immediately before being required to close from 5 November. 

Businesses eligible to apply for the support grant are: 

  • Non-essential retail outlets such as clothes shops, betting shops, mobile phone shops and market stalls selling non-essential goods 
  • Hospitality venues such as cafés, restaurants, pubs and bars – but not businesses which normally operate as a takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery service 
  • Accommodation such as hotels, hostels and guest houses 
  • Leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres, gyms, pools, tennis clubs, golf courses and fitness/dance studios 
  • Entertainment venues including theatres, concert halls, museums, galleries, bowling alleys, amusement arcades and soft play centres 
  • Personal care facilities such as hair and beauty salons, tattoo parlours, spas and massage parlours 

Businesses can apply for a Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) on the council website at  

Details of an additional grant scheme for businesses in Cambridge not in the business rates system, or which have remained open but have struggled financially, are expected to be announced soon. 

In addition to distributing the grants to eligible businesses, the council is introducing a rental holiday for all market and street traders to cover the current lockdown and any subsequent national lockdowns until 31 March 2021. 

A discounted pitch fee of 25% will be extended for all market traders from the end of the current lockdown until 31 March. Until the same date, traders will be also able to surrender their pitch without notice and subsequently take it up again, or can terminate their lease permanently without the usual notice period. 

The council has also made the decision to introduce free parking permits at council-run multi-storey car parks (except Grand Arcade) for people working for essential businesses in the city centre during the current lockdown and subsequent lockdowns until 31 March. Details of how to apply for the new permit will be published at  

The council’s existing free parking scheme for approved public and voluntary sector workers supporting residents in relation to the pandemic was recently extended until 31 March.  

Cllr Mike Davey, Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources, said: “Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic many businesses have seen their finances seriously affected by the enforced lockdowns and the reduction in trade.  

“I am pleased that this new grant for businesses forced to close on 5 November is now available, and I would urge all businesses eligible to apply. 

“In addition, our renewed support for market traders and people working in the city centre during this lockdown is an acknowledgement of the vital role they play in the life of the city.”