As the Destination Management 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):
Government guidance on COVID-19:
Local business support, applications for business grants and loans:
Top-up to local business grant funds scheme information here.
Updates on the Local Authority Discretionary Fund: Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF).
Government funding and business support help:
UK Government business support finder, 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.
-Main page on business support.
-UK Government – financial support for businesses including loans, grants, tax and rates relief.
Information on business loans:
Other business support information:
Coronavirus helpline number for all business related questions: 0300 456 3565.
Specific to Welsh businesses:
Specific to English businesses:
Information on reopening (2021 information):
UK Government guidance for the visitor economy in England:
-For people who work in hotels and guest accommodation, indoor and outdoor attractions, and business events and consumer shows.
-For people who work in or run hotels and other guest accommodation.
-For people who work or volunteer in heritage locations.
-For accommodation providers including what to do if guests have symptoms of COVID-19.
-For providers of outdoor facilities on the phased return of sport and recreation is here.
-For people who work in or run shops, branches, stores or similar environments.
-For people who work in or run restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes or takeaways.
-Guidance for all industries on working safely is here.
-Reopening tourism: a list of businesses which can open.
-Welsh Government roadmap for setting out how Wales will exit the coronavirus lockdown.
-Businesses and premises that must remain closed.
-Guidance for tourism and hospitality businesses for a phased and safe re-opening.
-Test, trace, protect: guidance for employers in Wales.
Guidance and information specifically on travel, tourism and hospitality:
Visit Britain’s survey is now closed.
Visit Wales’s survey is now closed. The results are here.
Marketing help and advice:
Our consumer website has several sections aimed at supporting our members, please let us know if you have anything else to add:
- Deliveries and takeaways
- Online gift guide
- Other ways you can support our local businesses
- Know Before You Go: Our Guide to Visiting Responsibly
- 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.