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:
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:
Funding and business support:
Coronavirus helpline number for all business related questions: 0300 456 3565.
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.
Travel and tourism:
Visit Britain’s survey is now closed.
Coronavirus spread, symptoms and what to do:
- 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.