Recovering from the impact of COVID-19

The effect of the COVID pandemic on people and the local economy will be long-lasting and it is expected things will never return to the pre-pandemic state for some areas of our lives.

We have seen a huge change in behaviours from our residents and are taking active steps in making sure we support areas where COVID has had a damaging impact, whilst trying to make the positive impacts of the pandemic more sustainable. Our programme of work is concentrated on key areas of our residents’ lives and district where we can make a change for the better.

Covid Response Diagram

 

What we have done so far

Helping our residents

  • For our residents in need of financial support we have directly delivered over £900,000 of hardship funding and council tax support payments.

  • Recognising the pressures facing some in our community, we have supported community groups and food banks with £65,000 of funding to ensure that nobody in our district needed to go hungry or worry about where their next meal would come from.

  • To help our community groups respond to the pandemic and help the communities that they support, we increased the community chest fund to £50,000 and repurposed it for COVID support and then COVID recovery grants.

  • To support our clinically extremely vulnerable residents, we called them regularly to check they had everything they needed, while having to lockdown in their homes, often organising food parcels or prescriptions to be delivered to their homes.

  • We were an early adopter of the Kickstart youth employment scheme, one of the only councils locally to become a Kickstart gateway provider with the ability to co-ordinate and place people ourselves. We are also supporting the creation of six new community job clubs across Huntingdonshire.

Helping our businesses

  • For our business community we were able to design and deliver a number of different discretionary grant schemes alongside those mandated by Government, getting £56 million into the bank accounts of local businesses.

  • For those eligible businesses with premises we also processed and awarded £22 million of business rate reliefs.

  • As a result of successfully distributing this business grant money we have been able to secure an additional £1.4 million of government funding to deliver further business recovery and growth support schemes.

  • For businesses who were without a digital presence we established Click It Local allowing traders and customers to buy local goods and have them delivered to their door.