Issue 12 of the AGTO Magazine is now available for members via the AGTO website.…
- Top-up to Local Business Grant Funds Scheme
The Government has established a £617m discretionary fund has been set up to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme. The funding will be available to a range of businesses including B&B operators that pay council tax instead of business rates which is great news for the tourism industry.
To qualify, businesses must be small, under 50 employees, and they must also be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to Coronavirus restriction measures. Further guidance on this funding will be published soon.
- 85 MPs write to Chancellor Demanding Further Tourism Support
85 MPs have written a joint letter to the Chancellor (attached) to express their concern that more needs to be done to support tourism businesses. Specifically they ask that:
- Business rates relief should be extended up to £150,000
- The Furlough Scheme should be extended beyond the lock-down
- The Furlough Scheme needs to be more flexible
- VAT rebates should be introduced
- Tourism VAT should be cut to 5%
- Tailored support should be available to tourism businesses that are currently missing out.
- The Bounce Back Loan Scheme Opens
The new Bounce Back Loan scheme for SMEs became operational today. Under the scheme, businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000. The government guarantees 100% of the loan and are available for up to six years. there won’t be any fees or interest to pay or repayments for the first 12 months, after which the government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest for the remaining period of the loan.
Here is the link to apply for a loan
- Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Check
HMRC will has announced that it will determine whether self-employed people are eligible for this support and notify those that are. HMRC will tell those eligible the date at which they can make a claim after the scheme opens on 13th May. Claims that are approved will receive payment within 6 working days.
They have also developed an online tool to find out if you’re eligible to make a claim and how much grant you may get. To use this you will need your Self-Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference Number and you National Insurance Number.
- Support for Zoos and Aquariums
Zoos and aquariums are able to apply for a grant of up to £100,000 to maintain the welfare of animals. The amount a operator can receive will be based on the animals’ needs and can cover animal-care costs that cannot be lowered such as:
- keepers’ wages
- animal feed and bedding
- veterinary care and medicines
- electricity and heating
- waste removal
- People 1st COVID-19: skills impact & recovery survey
People 1st are exploring the impact of Covid-19 on the sector from a skills perspective to look at how best they can prepare workforces for the recovery. There would like to work with Tourism Alliance members to ensure they reflect the views and experiences of members within this research. What’s coming through strongly is the need for support and practical, employer-led solutions to help protect jobs, retain skills and build consumer confidence.
To build on these insights, please complete this ‘COVID-19 skills impact & recovery survey’, which aims to provide further intelligence from those at the forefront dealing with skills and workforce challenges. The results of this survey will feed directly into a revised skills plan under the Tourism Sector Deal – underpinned by a strategic skills recovery plan for the industry-led skills board – as well as providing critical intelligence to government on the support and measures that are required for businesses to not just survive, but to prosper long term.
- WTTC Vision & Recommendations for Travel & Tourism Recovery
The WTTC has outlined a plan for what the “new normal” will look like for global tourism as countries begin to end their COVID-19 lockdowns and ease travel restrictions. The plan includes critical steps and coordinated actions, including new standards and protocols, which offer a safe and responsible road to recovery for the global Travel & Tourism sector as consumers start planning trips again.
- Safe and Seamless Traveller Experience
- Mapping Signposts to Recovery
- Global Standards for the New Normal
- Sharing Experiences and Lessons Learnt