Industry Update 8th April 2020

Brecon Beacons Tourism Industry Update
What we are doing to support our members 
Dear Members,

I know the last few weeks have been very challenging for you as businesses.   I wanted to assure you that Julia and I are working hard to keep you updated on Government updates and briefings, support packages which are being launched to support businesses effected by Covid-19.  

Colin Evans our Chair and I are also lobbying both the Welsh Government and the UK Government on your behalf to ensure both Governments know further support is needed and will need to be extended if this crisis continues into the summer.   As the recent survey results highlighted. 

We have informed you of the support packages the Governments have announced to date.Small business grantsBusiness rate holidaysInterest free loans80% coverage of wages for employeesDirect financial assistance for the self-employedIn addition the Welsh Government’s Business Wales and Social Business Wales services are there to support businesses in Wales. The Development Bank of Wales is there to support Welsh businesses by offering finance.

The Welsh Government has announced £1.4 billion to support businesses dealing with the impact, which includes rate relief schemes and business grants. Plus an announcement of a new £500 million fund that builds on that funding and is primarily aimed at supporting those firms who would not qualify from previously announced support packages.

A new £100m Development Bank of Wales fund announced last week will be available for companies who are experiencing cash flow problems as a result of the pandemic and will provide loans of between £5,000 and £250,000 at favourable interest rates. Businesses will also be able to benefit from a £400m emergency pot providing:Grants of £10,000 for micro-businesses employing up to nine people.Grants of up to £100,000 for small and medium sized firms with between 10 and 249 employees.Support for larger Welsh companies, which are of critical social or economic importance to Wales.The £500 million Economic Resilience Fund will support businesses forced to temporarily cease trading – to go into “hibernation” – or which need cash-flow support to adapt to a remote way of working – we have asked Welsh Government for more guidance on what the criteria will be, but await response.   We will update you as soon as we get. 

We hope these packages will save some businesses and around one million jobs in tourism and hospitality across the UK. However, we also recognise that this may not be enough for some businesses. 

The Wales Tourism Alliance, (WTA) who BBT are members, have been working hard to represent tourism business interests in communications with both Governments.  Whilst lobbying has been successful, more support is needed to safeguard the industry, particularly those who face immediate cash flow crises. I am grateful for feedback, information and ideas which you as members have communicated with me since the outbreak, please continue to do this as it’s vital to continue lobby and to give feedback to the Government, Welsh Government Visit Wales, Wales Tourism Alliance and our local authorities so they can make decisions which reflect the needs of the tourism industry in Wales.  We will continue to update you as information changes and updates are given. We will do this via our closed BBT Facebook Group and our industry news emails.  

We are also starting to look at ways we can continue to support you and your business virtually to ensure you are ready for when this is all over, we’ll be in touch in the next couple of weeks.  I hope you all continue to keep well and stay safe. Kindest regards,

Laura  Laura Thomas
Executive Director 
Brecon Beacons Tourism
 
National Park path closures – still in force
As we approach the weekend, here is a reminder of the path closures across the Brecon Beacons National Park which we have also shared online on our Visit Brecon Beacons and Brecon Beacons Tourism accounts.

We urge you to listen to Government guidance,  stay local and exercise close to home, if you need to use a car to get there – you should not be going. Please remember – Only use paths that you can walk to from your house – DO NOT drive to the countryside to walk.Keep to the path – do not trespass onto private land; only use public footpaths and bridleways.Practice social distancing – keep a minimum of two metres apart from other walkers and avoid using narrow paths.Plan your walk – try to avoid busy times of day when many other people may be walking, and if possible, don`t use the same route every day.Respect residents and landowners – if a path runs close to a house or farm try and take a different walk. if this isn’t possible, please respect the residents’ space as they may be vulnerable and self-isolating.Keep dogs on leads – the lambing season has begun and many fields are now stocked with sheep and lambs.Close gates to prevent sheep and cattle escaping.Please see the updated list of path closures here 
Local Authorities are paying the £10,000 and £25,000 business grants to eligible businesses. 
Please refer to the previous email I have sent out on the 31st March on this topic, as different Local Authorities are administering the scheme differently.

Members are reporting payments being received from Powys, Carmarthenshire and Monmouthshire County Councils this week.  

Powys based members do not need to contact Powys Council Council – they are paying directly all who they have bank account details on file for, they are writing to others for their bank account details for payment.  So do check your bank account this week or complete and return the form quickly to get payment made.
April BBT member meeting postponed
With regret to inform you we have decided to cancel our April members  and AGM meeting.  

Would members be interested in having a virtual members meeting?

We can do some Q&A sessions. 

Let us know if this would be of interest and we can look at getting it set up at the end of the month.
How to update your website listing 
We have sent you all our instructions for editing your pages on breconbeacons.org – we have popped together this little how to youtube video in case you need any extra help, but do email us with images and info if you would rather us to do it for you.

info@breconbeaconstourism.co.uk

Watch here
Share your rainbow photos on social media. 
Over the rainbow 

We’re joining the rest of the country in sharing a bit of colour and joy and saying a big THANK YOU to all the key workers out there!

Tag us in your throwback Brecon Beacons rainbows photos on social media and we’ll share on our accounts.  #visitbreconbeacons
Latest Industry Update from Visit Wales 
Read the latest update from Visit Wales here
Digital courses and webinars from Business Wales 
Business Wales has launched a new series of digital courses and webinars – which are free, aimed at Welsh SMEs affected by the COVID-19 outbreak are available now. Topics include:* Covid-19 and Your Business: Remote/Working from Home
* Covid-19 and your Business: Diversification
* Covid-19 and your Business: Cash flow in Crisis Further details can be found here 

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