GNF Members Update 5 May - Issue 28

Dear All

In today’s update there’s an interesting letter signed by 85 MPs (including our New Forest East MP Julian Lewis) demanding more support for tourism. The letter picks up many of the themes included in GNF’S letter to the Chancellor on 6 April.

There is also a new grant announced for Zoo & Animal Welfare Licensed Businesses and a number of useful business support items, plus a summary of recommendations by the World Travel & Tourism Council on what the “new normal” might look like for international tourism.

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 scheme for SMEs became operational yesterday and businesses can borrow between £2k and £50k. Under the scheme, businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000. The Government guarantees 100% of the loan which is available for up to six years. No fees, interest or repayments are repayable 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.
There’s also a very useful factsheet on the BBLS from the British Business Bank.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Check
HMRC has announced that it will determine whether self-employed people are eligible for this support and notify those that are eligible the date, at which they can make a claim after the scheme opens on 13 May. Claims that are approved will receive payment within 6 working days.
New Grant for Zoo & Animal Welfare Licensed Businesses
Zoos and aquariums are able to apply for a grant of up to £100,000 to maintain the welfare of animals. The amount an 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
You can apply if your business is based in England and holds either:
  • a licence (full or dispensation) under the Zoo Licensing Act 1981
  • has been granted an exemption under the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 and holds a licence under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) Regulations 2018
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

With best wishes,