As the Destination Marketing Organisation for the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley we are committed to responsible tourism and are doing everything we can to support our local businesses while protecting the safety of our visitors.
Please refer to the following links for further information (more recent information is added at the top):
Information on reopening:
Advice and support from the Visit Britain Business Advice Hub.
The Food Standards Agency has published specialist guidance for the food industry on reopening and adapting a food business here.
UK Government guidance for providers of outdoor facilities on the phased return of sport and recreation is here.
UK Government guidance for all industries on working safely is here.
The UK Government’s recovery strategy is here.
-Information on the new taskforces including for tourism is here.
Welsh Government roadmap for setting out how Wales could exit the coronavirus lockdown.
Applications for business grants, loans and local business support:
Monmouthshire County Council.
Forest of Dean District Council.
Top-up to local business grant funds scheme information here.
–Latest updates on the Local Authority Discretionary Fund: Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF).
Government guidance on COVID-19:
UK Government – the main page with links to all other information is here. Some of the key sections of interest to members are:
Guidance for households with a possible coronavirus infection.
Guidance for employees, employers and businesses.
Updated info 11th May: working safely.
Statistics, number of cases, risk level.
NHS Coronavirus Symptom Checker.
COVID-19 Symptom Checker app to report any symptoms.
Funding and business support:
UK Government – Find coronavirus financial support for your business: support is available to employers and the self-employed. You may be eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants.
UK business support website collating information on the support available for businesses.
UK Government – financial support for businesses main page including loans, grants, tax and rates relief.
Information on business loans:
Apply for a coronavirus Bounce Back Loan
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
Other business support information:
UK Government – comprehensive list of coronavirus support options for businesses from outside government.
Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations.
Enterprise Nation – a summary of business support options.
UK Government – business support measures announced 23rd March 2020.
Coronavirus helpline number for all business related questions: 0300 456 3565.
UK Government – self-employed support grant. Use the online tool here to see if you are eligible.
UK Government – employee Job Retention Scheme.
UK Government – VAT deferrals.
HMRC – webinars for businesses.
Innovate UK – grants to help build resilience.
Raise the Bar: Petition to ask UK Government to extend the rateable value grant threshold for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses from £51,000 to £150,000.
Specific to Welsh businesses:
Welsh Government – business support page with all links here. Emergency support for businesses announced 17th March 2020. £1.4bn business support package announced 19th March 2020.
Business Wales – summary of support and information on grants.
Business Wales – Apply for the Economic Resilience Fund, Form at the end of the Eligibility Checker.
Monmouthshire County Council’s business advice including information on grants, rate relief and pubs/restaurants wishing to offer takeaway services.
Specific to English businesses:
Forest of Dean District Council’s main coronavirus advice page. Their business advice page is here including information on how to apply for the government’s business grants and a survey for businesses.
Herefordshire Council’s advice page. Business advice on grants.
Arts Council England Emergency Response Package.
Gloucestershire Growth Hub business support survey.
Guidance and information specifically on travel, tourism and hospitality:
Our statement and what we’re doing to support businesses.
‘People should avoid travelling unless it is essential’ announced 22nd March 2020.
Enforced closure of businesses and other venues announced 22nd March 2020.
-Updated information 11th May 2020.
Welsh Government – holiday accommodation businesses must close until further notice.
UK Government advice for accommodation providers 24th March 2020.
Visit Britain’s website with links to many key information sites including advice for businesses.
-Their list of help available for tourism businesses affected.
Visit Wales. Later. Their statement on avoiding all travel.
Visit Britain’s survey is now closed.
Visit Wales’s survey is now closed. The results are here.
People 1st International skills impact & recovery survey.
The BBC News page on tourism is a useful resource for updated information.
UK Government – for if you can provide rooms for those in need.
Ministerial direction for the support fund for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses.
The CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) to investigate cancellation policy concerns.
Visit Britain’s paper submitted to the Cabinet Office detailing how Government can help the tourism industry recover from COVID-19.
Marketing help and advice:
Visit Britain’s marketing plans – show your love for Great Britain.
Crowdfunder’s free ‘Pay it Forward’ fundraising opportunities.
Gloucestershire Growth Hub free webinars (subject to application).
Google Digital Garage Free live online courses.
Guestline’s hotel gift voucher site is free to sign up to.
Be a Local Hero website sign up for free to sell gift vouchers.
Business Wales information on social media use.
Food Finder app, free to get listed.
Pub2Me website. £20 to get listed.
‘Curbside Pick-Up’ Notifications now available on Google Business Listings.
Facebook & Instagram Shops for all – make a storefront.
Register as a filming location with Creative England.
Our consumer website has several sections aimed at supporting our members, please let us know if you have anything else to add:
- Keep your communication clear and decisive – each business is different and you will have different pressure points so you need to do what is best for you and let your customers and guests know
- Keep your website and social media up to date
- Remember to encourage people that this is a temporary situation, suggest different ways they might be able to support you: online sales, vouchers, booking ahead – people generally know we are in this together so are open to supporting small businesses as much as they can
- Make sure you use a thoughtful and engaging tone, even if you are not feeling like this and actually just want to scream!
- If you are doing something really different to modify or adapt your business to the current situation make it clear
- Also email your database, and keep them updated on your news. You could encourage them to purchase vouchers, engage with your social media etc.
- If you sell anything online make this a focal point on the homepage of your website and point them to what you are providing
- If you have had to cancel events try to postpone, collect email addresses to let people know when a new date is confirmed. Look at virtual classes where possible (yoga, crafts etc)
- Keep up with Visit Britain’s marketing plans here
Keep posting on social media, people will be stuck at home on their mobiles and especially on social media, here are some ideas:
- Be the calm in the storm, people need positive messages more than ever
- Encourage conversations around positive topics
- Use this time to connect with your followers without selling to them – tell your stories, tell them about yourself and how you set up / came to run the business, tell them about your employees / company history
- Focus on content that’s more informational/ educational / entertaining
- Survival – what else have you survived? Many of you will have gone through Foot & Mouth for example
- Your followers are your community, and people come together in times of adversity. Have conversations with them
- Hope. We all hope to be out of this by June
- What can people buy online from you (eg gift vouchers) / book for a later date
- People will also be bored if stuck inside, if you have a shop can people buy things like games, craft sets or local books from you?
- Local heroes: Who supplies you, who do you rely on, we are all in it together…
- Promote what you can which is open locally, including walks in the countryside (as long as they are not self-isolating)
- Use #DeanWye as well as keeping up with timely hashtags such as #StaySafe #VisitLater #DontCancelModify #SupportLocal #VirtualHoliday. Join in with what’s happening in your region also for example #InThisTogetherGlos if you’re in Gloucestershire.
Don’t forget to join our members Facebook group here.