8th April 2020
These Updates will no longer be daily unless there is some new news.
Announcements from Government on various schemes are now very much about the detail for various sectors. Of interest may be the following which sets out what the Government will do to support Apprentices and employers that have Apprentices. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-apprenticeship-programme-response?utm_source=b587beaa-325b-4a33-8b5b-9665a7d3f6d4&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate.
In terms of our lobbying, we are continuing to press hard for our asks. Today we have held our weekly bacta Covid-19 crisis group call, spoken to Stuart McMillan MSP and attended the Scottish Tourism Alliance council with Tourism Minister, Fergus Ewing. We are continuing to seek clarification from the Welsh Government on the application of rates relief and the grant scheme. All I can say is that we are speaking to anyone we can think of to get our industry’s views across. These are being heard and we are not alone in many of the changes we are seeking.
ACCESS TO FINANCE
One member has told me that Lloyds has refused them a loan because they are in the gambling business. I know we have previously had a few issues with banks on the over zealous interpretation of the bank’s anti-gambling CSR policies, but at this moment and time this is frankly outrageous. The Government has not imposed any of these kinds of conditions.
Please let me know if you are having any trouble getting finance for this or any other reason as Government will place further pressure on the banks to behave. DCMS has asked us to supply the following details. These will be treated in the strictest confidence:
- name of company (if you are not comfortable sharing this, please say which part of the sector you are in)
- size of the company/turnover
- any high level info that shows the company was viable until this crisis
- how much of a loan you asked for and under which scheme?
- which bank you requested this from
- the bank’s response (including whether the bank is asking for a personal guarantee) /
- how long it is taking to hear back from the bank or when the company will be in negative cash flow
After Easter we will begin to address the support we need to help the country climb quickly out of the recession this crisis has caused. I would welcome any thoughts members have on what you would like to see put in place. One suggested previously is to add some Bank Holidays to the Autumn period.
STOP PRESS: the DCMS Select Committee has today announced that it is launching an Inquiry into the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on tourism, heritage gambling and other sectors within the Department’s footprint. This will give us another opportunity to say what we need both now and in the future to help the country climb out of this crisis.
Members feedback has been invaluable. Please keep in touch and remember to keep writing to your MPs and councillors.
For seasonal businesses, I included last week a template letter from the British Holiday Homes and Parks Association, which are leading for the tourism industry on the seasonal worker issue. If you need a copy of that please let me know.
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