When the nationwide lockdown was imposed, the 62 independent shops on Steep Hill and Bailgate in Lincoln were put in a tough situation of not knowing when they would reopen.
In March the City of Lincoln Council offered £10,000 small businesses grants to help them survive the lockdown.
Nicole Lockwood, owner of Bells Tea Shop on Steep Hill, said: “We were badly affected because we had to close up for four months. We’re now back with reduced capacity due to social distancing.
“We took advantage of the furlough scheme and the grants helped as they took the pressure off us as it reduced the uncertainty and helped cover rent.”
According to the City of Lincoln Council website, “To date, the Council has awarded over £22.1 million of funding to over 1,800 businesses in the city.”
Amy Rowland, owner of the Artisan Maker said: “The lack of footfall was the problem but the grant was incredibly helpful as it let me essentially put the shop on pause.
“It took concerns away about not being able to pay rent and other bills. I don’t think the government could do anymore.”
The government has faced widespread criticism of how it has dealt with small businesses in the pandemic.
However, the owners that our reporter, Molly Bryan, spoke to are happy with the response.
Rowland said: “It enabled me to pay just over three months rent and bills.
“Also, I could furlough my members of staff which was a great help”.
Lockwood added: “The City of Lincoln Council has done well and got funds out to businesses quickly.
“Central government should give them more power over the track and trace.”