The Tier 4 announcement was a bitter blow for us all. Safety is paramount, but we are pushing the government to give more notice, provide more certainty, and provide consistent evidence-based decisions. The Bounce Back Better campaign is gaining momentum and we will not rest until you have the support you need.
Here are the updates we have so far on local support and information:
Here are the updates on grants form 18 December:
Canterbury City Council has added additional resource to the Business Rates team to help process the grants and will carry on working throughout the Christmas period. This is the position as of 18 December (prior to the Tier 4 announcement):
1. National lockdown grants: These cover the period of national lockdown from 5 November to 2 December. So far, 1,258 applications have been received (as of 17 December) and 727 of those have been paid, worth a total of £1.17million. Demand has been high and, unfortunately, not all applicants have supplied all the information requested by the government, which has resulted in some applications taking longer to process. The application window for this scheme closes on 31 December. Any business that hasn’t applied yet but thinks they are eligible is encouraged to apply as soon as possible. The Council’s priority is to complete this scheme and ensure that help gets to those businesses most affected by the national lockdown first.
2. Tier 3 grants: These cover the four-week period from 2 December to 29 December currently. The Council’s team is working on the system for these grants but they are complex. It requires a system that draws down the information already supplied by businesses in their national lockdown grant applications and prompts them for any additional information required. There will be three main strands to the Tier 3 grants:
- To support businesses with a business rates liability still forced to remain closed
- To support specific sectors with a business rates liability which are able to trade but have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic (hospitality, leisure, tourism and language schools)
- To support businesses not covered by the other two strands (so will be open to applicants who do not hold a business rates liability) or which warrant more significant intervention
The Council will start processing Tier 3 grants in the new year. This is to ensure that they are able to prioritise paying out the national lockdown grants. If no new information is required, they can set up an automatic payment. If we go into subsequent fortnights of Tier 3 restrictions, automated pay runs will be set up as appropriate. The time setting up the system now will make ongoing payments swifter and will mean that applicants won’t need to do any unnecessary work to receive further payments should the tier restrictions continue.
3. Wet-led pub grants: This is a one-off payment of £1,000 for pubs and bars where more than 50 per cent of their income comes from drink sales rather than food. The payment covers the period 2 December to 29 December. The Council are currently identifying those businesses who should receive that grant and will contact them directly in the new year.
A number of our services will be affected by the government’s announcement that Canterbury will move into Tier 4 as of 20 December.
- Park and Ride service is now suspended. The Wincheap and Sturry Road sites will close but people will be able to park at the New Dover Road site for 50p and walk or cycle into the city.
- Parking charges at Castle Street multi-storey car park will be capped at £3.50 per day so essential workers are not disadvantaged by the closure of Park and Ride.
City Feast and the festive stalls in Whitefriars will no longer be operating. However, the Council is allowing other markets that sell food to remain open.
City Centre Support Team
The new City Centre Support Team will continue to be on hand to offer advice.
Leisure centres and swimming pools are now closed. Public toilets and play areas will be open but are subject to change at short notice as more detailed government guidance emerges.