This online survey was conducted between 16th and 20th April 2020 and the results represent a snapshot of tourism businesses from across Mid Wales, the Brecon Beacons and surrounding area.
Participants were asked to use the Welsh Government COVID-19 Business Support Eligibility Checker before undertaking our survey to ensure they knew what funding was available to their business.
The survey was completed by 317 tourism businesses covering the following sectors
· serviced accommodation
· self catering
· caravan and campsites
· activity providers
· restaurants, cafe and pubs
· drink and food producers
The number of respondents from the three groups invited to complete the survey were:
· Brecon Beacons Tourism Members (84 respondents)
· Mid Wales Tourism Members (99 respondents)
· Tourism related businesses in the Brecon Beacons National Park, excluding BBT members (134 respondents)
The aim of the survey was undertaken to understand:
· What financial support businesses had received from the Welsh Government and/or the
· UK Government Covid-19 schemes
· How many businesses have outcomes pending or are unable to access any financial help
· so far.
· Understand the impact the Covid-19 crisis is likely to impact on the medium / long
· term viability of businesses in the region
The Mid-Wales region is largely rural in nature and relies heavily on the tourism sector. The majority of tourism businesses are owner-run micro businesses, with income heavily dependent on the main season March – October.
The survey results and comments show the stark reality and mood of desperation as bills continue to come in, without any indications as to whether business will be able to resume anytime soon.
Self-employment Scheme – 24% of respondents are waiting to hear whether they will receive income from the self-employment scheme. It should be noted that this scheme is based on average monthly earnings, this will almost certainly cause hardship in the Winter months this year, even if business resumes as early as July.
Business Rates Scheme -27% of respondents are not Business Rated and are there not eligible for this scheme.
A further 26% are not VAT registered and 24% do not employ staff meaning and are not eligible for the Economic Resilience grant.
The main groups of respondents who are shown to be excluded from existing grant funding and aid fall within the following categories:
· Company Directors paying themselves by dividends
· New business Startups
· Newer businesses without profits last year
· Self-employed people with holiday lettings falling under the Furnished Holiday Lettings
Stark figures about business confidence were reflected in the results including:
· 31% reported they can survive a maximum of 3 months with current cash flow and 26%
· are already struggling to pay their bills now.
· 24 % of businesses responded saying they were not at all confident their business
· would survive until Easter 2021 if they could start trading again in July 2020.
· This increased to 55% of businesses stating they were not at all confident their
· business would survive until Easter 2021 that if lockdown was lifted by September 2020