THE council has published a list of ways it will be helping businesses throughout the second lockdown.

Other than distributing funding from central Government, companies in the city centre and in market towns will have lots of support available.

This comes after Cllr Stephen Godfrey questioned what the council has in line.

Cllr Paula Ferguson said: "The council responded quickly to the challenges facing local business across the district as a result of COVID restrictions.

"Our support for business has been delivered over three main areas of activity, information and guidance."

The council has:

- Opened a dedicated telephone support line at the beginning of the pandemic and given support to over 900 businesses.

- Enhanced regular communications and business engagement has been maintained throughout the period of the pandemic to support businesses in general and specifically those impacted by Covid-19.

- Specialist Environmental Health advice and guidance is available.

- Made the mobilisation of street ambassadors providing advice and re-assurance in the city centre and market towns coupled with social distancing signage and painted street demarcations.

- Launched the City Centre Partnership and meetings with market towns and Whiteley community and business stakeholders to discuss business challenges, share best practice and source collaborative solutions.

- Rediscover What’s on Your Doorstep campaign encouraging people to stay local and spend local across the whole district.

- Business support via the business support service provided by IncuHive including virtual one to ones, workshops and networking events supporting over 650 business contacts.

- Moved the market back onto the High St with the Sunday markets located on the Broadway.

- Approximately £250,000 of rent abatement offered to tenants of city council property to support these businesses cash flow challenges.

- Streamlining the licensing process for Pavement Licensing and proactive support.