A petiton calling for help for traders at Coventry Market has been taken straight to the government.

Coventry South MP Zarah Sultana presented the petition – signed by a number of traders at the market – in the House of Commons this week.

It comes after CoventryLive published a number of articles outlining the difficulties faced by traders. 

One business, Baguette Bakery, has been locked out of government support because, as a takeaway, they are considered essential and so are not entitled to financial help. But footfall at the market has plummeted – meaning a huge drop in customers.

And Maria’s Bakery is in an identical position. Owner Jerone Smith described the city centre as a “dead zone” and said takings are down by between 70 and 80 per cent.

We took a look round, see our gallery here:

Ms Sultana described the situation as “unacceptable” and urged the government to do more to help those affected.

The petition describes Coventry Market as “one of Britain’s best city markets” but states “the government has not provided adequate financial support for the hardworking Coventry Market traders and other small traders during lockdown and other times of restrictions”.

Speaking after handing the petition in, Ms Sultana said: “Coventry Market is at the beating heart of our city. Its traders work incredibly hard and add huge value and character to the city.

Coventry South MP Zarah Sultana

“That’s why it’s unacceptable that the Government hasn’t stepped in to give them and other small businesses the support they need.

“I am calling on the Government to listen to Coventry Market traders and provide financial support so they can weather this storm and then thrive once the pandemic is over.”

Rachel Ward, from the COGs Refills market stall, said her business has “really struggled” over the past year.

She added: “It’s been really difficult as a smaller market trader over the past year. The restrictions and lockdown have meant footfall has significantly dropped but, there has been little or no financial support from the Government to help.

“It has meant other traders and I have really struggled. We really need the Government to get its act together and help self-employed traders like us.”





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