To support local traders, Bridgend County Borough Council is extending free town centre parking at council-maintained car parks to the end of August.
Shoppers are being encouraged to take advantage of the offer, and to buy goods locally as businesses continue to reopen across the county borough.
In Bridgend town centre, the free car parking concession is available at the council’s Rhiw and Brackla Street multi-storeys as well as the open-air car park behind Wilkinsons.
In Porthcawl, it is available at the Hilsboro and John Street car parks. Pay-and-display machines remain in use at the visitor car parks in Salt Lake and Rest Bay, while free parking continues to be available at Pencoed and Maesteg.
Shoppers are also being encouraged to look out for window stickers and certificates indicating that businesses have completed free online training provided by the council, and have received equipment such as ‘sneeze guards’ to help keep customers safe from exposure to the coronavirus.
While the pandemic has been in effect, the local authority has not charged rent to market traders and other small businesses for using council-owned premises, and recently announced a new concessionary rate of 75 per cent off rents in August, 50 per cent off in September, and 25 per cent off in October.
Cllr Richard Young, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “The impact of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic has been heavily felt across the county borough, and the council wants to do all that it can to support local businesses as they set about reopening.
“Whether it is through the £28m in business support grants that we have delivered, the free start-back training and equipment that we have provided or the free car parking offer which has just been extended, I hope that more people will be encouraged to shop locally and safely, and to support local traders.”