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Support and Guidance for Tourism Businesses

The West Midlands Growth Company (WMGC) is continuing to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on the region’s tourism sector.

To help tourism and hospitality businesses keep track of the wide range of guidance and support on offer, WMGC will update this page based on information from government and tourism bodies.

Engaging with our tourism and hospitality commercial partners is a key priority for the company over the coming weeks and months. Please do not hesitate to contact our team on tourism@wmgrowth.com, so that we can signpost you to support, or understand what your business needs in order to lobby on your behalf.

Here is the latest information on support schemes for businesses.

Local authority guidance

The local authorities in which your business operates continue to keep their pages up-to-date with information that is unique to your locality.

Please ensure that you are also checking these pages regularly so you are fully up to speed on the latest news, advice and guidance in your area:

Official government guidance

The Chancellor’s ‘Plan for Jobs’

Click here for information on the Chancellor’s ‘Plan for Jobs’, announced on 8 July. The document highlights information on the new £2 billion Kickstart Scheme for people under the age of 25; a cut in VAT from 20% to 5% on most tourism and hospitality-related activities; the new ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ discount scheme; and a bonus scheme to re-employ furloughed workers.

Tourism-specific guidance

The Government has also published new guidance for reopening the visitor economy to take effect in England on 4 July. More here.

From Saturday 11 July, outdoor pools and outdoor performing arts shows can reopen.

From Monday 13 July, beauticians, tattooists, spas, tanning salons and other close-contact services can reopen. More here.

From Saturday 25 July, indoor gyms, swimming pools and sports facilities can reopen. More here.


General business guidance

The government, in consultation with industry, has produced guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible. Read here

The government has also published new guidance for reopening the visitor economy to take effect in England on 4 July. Read here.  

Click here for information on the Chancellor’s ‘Plan for Jobs’, announced on 8 July. The document highlights information on the new £2 billion Kickstart Scheme for people under the age of 25; a cut in VAT from 20% to 5% on most tourism and hospitality-related activities; the new ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ discount scheme; and a bonus scheme to re-employ furloughed workers.

Click here for details about maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace.

Click here to find out what support your business is eligible for.

Click here to find guidance for businesses providing outdoor facilities on the phased return of sport in England.

Public bodies, organisations and charities have produced additional resources that may be useful to employers and employees, find out more here.

Further guidance for voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations can be found here.

‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard 

VisitBritain / VisitEngland has launched a new industry standard and consumer mark for tourism businesses. The ‘We’re Good To Go’ standard is free to join and ensures tourism businesses can demonstrate they are managing their property in a COVID-19 safe manner.

To obtain the mark, businesses must complete a self-assessment including a check-list confirming they have put the necessary processes in place, before receiving certification and the ‘We’re Good To Go’ mark for display in their premises and online.

Financial support and schemes

The UK Government and other organisations have rolled out grants and loans to help businesses manage the impact of COVID-19. Schemes that have a direct link to the tourism industry can be found below:

Eat Out to Help Out

The new Eat Out to Help Out scheme will help to incentivise customers back into the UK’s restaurants, cafes and pubs. 

Running from the 3-31 August 2020 on Monday, Tuesdaysand Wednsday, the scheme will give a 50% discount, up to a maximum of £10 per customer on food and non-aloholic drinks.

Find out more on how to register here.

Cash Grant for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure

  • Small businesses in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector with a rateable value of £15,000 and £51,000 will receive £25,000 each. Find out more here.
  • More details on eligibility here. 

Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund

  • Small and micro businesses with fixed property costs that are not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund may be eligible for the Discretionary Grants Scheme.
  • You can get a grant of £25,000, £10,000 or any amount under £1https://www.gov.uk/business-support-helpline0,000.

Find out more here

Business Rates Holiday for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure

  • Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will not have to pay business rates for the 2020-21 tax year.

Find out more here. 

Bounce Back Loan

The Bounce Back Loan scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000.

The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months.

Find out more here.
 

Zoo and Aquarium Support Fund

•    If you run a licensed zoo or aquarium in England and are experiencing severe financial difficulties because of lost revenue, you can apply for a grant of up to £100,000.

Find out more here.

VisitBritain webinars

VisitBritain has announced a new webinar programme to support tourism businesses during the COVID-19 recovery.

Launching on Tuesday 30 June, the first session will be a “Spotlight on inbound and domestic research and insights” – taking a look at our latest trackers and consumer sentiment surveys.
The programme will run throughout June, July and August. Click here to find out more.

Reach Solutions’ Marketing Support

Reach Solutions has announced #IAmOpen, a new campaign to support local businesses to market themselves effectively during the COVID-19 recovery with free services and low cost options.

Free solutions include creative design services, social media posts, a website design and multimedia video creation.

Visit here for more information.

Official updates and guidance from tourism bodies

Below are links to various tourism groups’ COVID-19 updates, statements and guidance. If you cannot find a relevant group to your business in this list, please contact your association directly.

COVID-19 Portals

A number of local business support organisations have created web portals and hubs to give you the most accurate information and guidance. These include:

Further advice and guidance

There is also a Government business support hotline to answer COVID-19 calls from businesses here.

VisitEngland's Business Advice Hub can help your business grow

VisitEngland’s free Business Advice Hub helps tourism businesses to grow, with free resources, advice and toolkits.

The Hub includes practical information on what to do when starting up, employing staff, how to be legally compliant and where to find local support. Become ‘internationally ready’ with the new Inbound Tourism Toolkit or improve your online presence using the Digital Marketing Toolkit.
 
Go to visitengland.org/businessadvice to get started.

Last updated: 10 July 2020