FURTHER grants are being made available to help businesses in Cambridge covering the period from mid‑February to the end of March 2021.
Cambridge City Council is also introducing a new grants category to make a £700 grant available to every eligible taxi driver, licensed to operate in Cambridge, who applies.
For the period from November 5, 2020 up until 15 February, 2021, the council supported eligible businesses with over £1.8m in Cambridge in Additional Restriction Grant funding, or as it is referred to locally, the Additional Business Support Grant.
Businesses that have already qualified for the Additional Business Support Grant will be sent a grant to cover the period from 16 February to 31 March (44 day grant) in the next few weeks, without needing to reapply.
Grants to new, eligible applicants will be paid from 15 February for 44 days. The one-off Cambridge Supplement payment made for the January to February six week period is no longer available.
The deadline for new online applications has been extended to 31 March.
Since the launch of the first phase of the council’s Additional Business Support Grant scheme last November, the focus has been on reaching out to a wide range of businesses in both commercial and domestic properties in Cambridge, as well as to market and street traders operating in the city.
This has helped both businesses that have been required to close during lockdowns as well as others that have been allowed to continue to trade but which, even so, have suffered a severe impact.
While these broad categories have enabled many businesses to qualify for a grant, it has become clear that the needs of licensed taxi drivers operating in the city do not all fit neatly into the existing categories.
Although taxi drivers and other sole traders already have access to the government’s Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, the council recognises that it can do more to help nearly 600 taxi drivers who are registered with the Cambridge city licensing authority.
The council will now be contacting those eligible licensed taxi drivers that have already applied for a grant, to pay them £700 each.
It will also be writing to all the other taxi drivers licensed to operate in Cambridge, to seek confirmation that they are eligible for a grant.
Cllr Mike Davey, Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources, said: “Distributing this government funding locally to support businesses in Cambridge is a real priority.
“I am pleased that we can now offer more grants up until the end of March under this scheme, which has already proved popular.
“It’s also important that we are adapting our scheme to address the needs of taxi drivers. We are doing as much as we can to support businesses within our funding allocation.”
For details see www.cambridge.gov.uk/coronavirus-information-for-businesses