The COVID-19 outbreak has developed fast and now covers all continents, with various measures put in place by governments across the globe. For the latest information on the pandemic visit the Government website. https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
We would advise all partners to regularly check the VisitBritain and Government business support web pages, which are being continually updated with the latest advice and information for UK tourism businesses.
As the situation evolves, we recommend all County Durham tourism businesses and stakeholders stay informed by reading the latest health information from the above resources. Please also provide feedback and comments direct to email@example.com
The Government is asking businesses if they can offer coronavirus (COVID-19) support, including:
View our latest Grapevine COVID-19 business support e-newsletter >
The Government is urging businesses dealing with the unprecedented challenges of Coronavirus to take the following key steps:
1. Get help with your finances
For small and medium sized businesses, the new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme is now available for applications. For more information and how to apply, visit their website.
You can also speak to your bank or lender to discuss options.
The Bank of England’s new lending facility for larger firms is also open for applications. Find out more on their website.
2. See what you're entitled to
The Government is also making cash grants and additional funding available to certain sectors and smaller businesses.
Find out more about the schemes available, whether you’re eligible and how to apply on their website.
3. Support your staff
Through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Government will pay salaries (at 80% of current pay up to £2,500 a month) for workers who are no longer working and would otherwise be made redundant.
For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 2 weeks of COVID-19 related statutory sick pay per employee will be refunded by the Government in full. Find out more on their website.
You will also find messaging in their toolkit that an be used in your internal staff communications.
4. Check guidance on tax
If you are concerned about paying your tax you can talk to HMRC about managing payments.
The Government has already postponed upcoming VAT payments through to June, cancelled business rates for many sectors and delayed July’s self-assessment tax payments until January 2021. To find out more visit their website.
5. Follow the latest advice
The Government website will be updated regularly as more information becomes available.
The Prime Minister’s daily press conference, live streamed on the @10DowningStreet Twitter feed, will also provide the latest updates on health advice, support for businesses and employees, as well as a range of other issues.
The World Health Organisation has issued advice to help people deal with anxiety and worries related to the COVID-19 outbreak, including seeking information and practical guidance from reliable news sources and staying connected with family and friends via email, social media or telephone. Read the advice in full here >
Undoubtedly, the visitor economy is facing challenging times right now and organisations are required to make fast paced changes to adapt to the conditions around us. By understanding the impact that the Covid-19 Pandemic is having upon Durham’s visitor economy it will help us to understand the work that needs to take place in supporting businesses, and in future months support you to plan your recovery.
You may have already completed our first survey, the information from which has been vital for us to understand the initial impact. We have now ended this survey and will be contacting you in the next couple of weeks with a new survey to help analyse the ongoing impact on the county’s visitor economy and track the changes over this period. We appreciate your support in this matter.