Coronavirus Information

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:

Applications for business grants:

Monmouthshire County Council

Forest of Dean District Council

Herefordshire Council (no information but apparently businesses should already have been emailed).

Government guidance on COVID-19:

The main government guidance 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.

Funding and business support:

Dedicated website collating information on the support available for businesses.

UK Hospitality summary of budget statement.

UK Government support for businesses announced 17th March 2020.

Business support measures announced 23rd March 2020.

Coronavirus helpline number for all business related questions: 0300 456 3565.

Self-employed support announced 26th March 2020.

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.

Monmouthshire County Council’s business advice including information on grants, rate relief and pubs/restaurants wishing to offer takeaway services.

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.

Travel and tourism:

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.

Government advice for accommodation providers 24th March 2020.

Visit Britain’s website with links to many key information sites including advice for businesses.

Visit Britain’s marketing plans – show your love for Great Britain.

Visit Wales. Later. Their statement on avoiding all travel.

Visit Britain’s survey is now closed.

Visit Wales’s survey is here.

The BBC News page on tourism.

Coronavirus spread, symptoms and what to do:

Information from the UK Government about coronavirus in the UK is updated on a regular basis here.

We would urge anyone that has any concerns over their own health to use the NHS Coronavirus Symptom Checker.

COVID-19 Symptom Checker app to report any symptoms.

Marketing advice:

  • 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.