Tourism industry survey asks businesses how they have been affected during the pandemic to help focus support

Businesses involved in the tourism industry in Bridgend county borough are being asked to take part in a survey to show exactly how the coronavirus pandemic has affected them and discuss proposals for the future.

The local authority has sent the survey to those that form part of the visitor economy from hotels, pubs and cafes to attractions, activity providers, campsites and other businesses.

Tourism operators that have not received the survey are invited to take part by completing the short ‘impact on business’ form online initially and then they will be sent the tourism survey.

Bridgend County Borough Council will use the information from it to focus its support as restrictions are gradually lifted, working alongside the Welsh Government and Visit Wales.

The survey which covers impact on revenues, staffing and the long-term survival of businesses is part of wider exercise around business engagement linked to future economic planning. Based on feedback from retail businesses, this has already resulted in a start back pack for businesses involving free online Covid-19 awareness training to help make sure premises are well prepared to welcome customers back and a sneeze guard to help protect both staff and customers.

Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Cllr Charles Smith, said: “Tourism adds over £350m to the economy of the county borough and supports over 4,000 jobs.

“If much of the peak summer season is either lost or running at significantly reduced capacity, we want to explore options for supporting the tourism and hospitality industry given its importance to the local economy.

“We want to talk to the industry to better understand options at a local and national level. We clearly won’t be able to do everything which is required but as restrictions are gradually lifted and we begin to think about recovery, we want to be in the best possible position to support businesses.

“While the message is still very much ‘Visit Bridgend county borough. Later’, it is essential that as a county and as a country we, and the rest of Wales, plan the future together so that our local communities and our very welcome visitors of the future have the reassurance that we are working to get the balance right between being welcoming but also safe.”

All businesses are encouraged to check the council’s business

Below is an update on some of the support currently available to local businesses in Bridgend county borough.

Deadline confirmed for business funding

Businesses in Bridgend County Borough have until 5pm on 30 June 2020 to apply for Welsh Government grant funding support. Designed to help traders meet lockdown challenges during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, the support is available to businesses who are eligible for small business rates relief in Wales and who occupy premises with a rateable value of £12,000 or less. It includes those who fall under the small business rates relief threshold of £6,000 and who do not currently pay business rates. Grants are also available to businesses in the retail, leisure or hospitality sector with a rateable value between £12,001 and £51,000. Applications can be made by completing an online form – to avoid delays in processing claims, it is vital for all applicants to provide accurate, essential information including copies of bank statements showing bank details.

Over 2,200 businesses supported so far

Since the launch of the £1.4bn financial rescue package, the council has processed 2,204 applications and has awarded more than £27.3m to local firms to help them meet the ongoing challenges of the coronavirus pandemic lockdown. Find out more at the council website.

Covid-19 awareness training

Bridgend County Borough Council is inviting local retail businesses who are considering reopening to book a free place on the online Covid-19 awareness training. This training can help make sure the premises is well prepared to welcome customers back.

The course will take around three hours to complete and can be done at home using the trainee’s own equipment. On successful completion, the business will be issued with a sticker to display at their premises to inform customers that they have been fully trained.

As an additional part of this start-back package, businesses may also request a complimentary sneeze guard to further protect themselves and customers on their return to work.

Businesses will be allocated a date, time and location to receive the sneeze guard from council staff from 8 June 2020.

The Covid-19 awareness training is intended for business owners, managers and other key staff. To book and request a sneeze guard, please call Employability Bridgend on: 01656 643428 or email: employability.