Support and Guidance for Tourism Businesses

The West Midlands Growth Company (WMGC) is continuing to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on the region’s tourism sector.

To help tourism and hospitality businesses keep track of the wide range of guidance and support on offer, WMGC will update this page based on information from government and tourism bodies.

Engaging with our tourism and hospitality commercial partners is a key priority for the company over the coming weeks and months. Please do not hesitate to contact our team on tourism@wmgrowth.com, so that we can signpost you to support, or understand what your business needs in order to lobby on your behalf.

Here is the latest information on support schemes for businesses.

Local authority guidance

The local authorities in which your business operates continue to keep their pages up-to-date with information that is unique to your locality.

Please ensure that you are also checking these pages regularly so you are fully up to speed on the latest news, advice and guidance in your area:

Offical government guidance

The government, in consultation with industry, has produced guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible. Read here.

In order to keep overall levels of infection down the Government has set out new restrictions around international travel (see page 29), in line with many other countries. 

Click here to find out what support your business is eligible for.

Some rules have been relaxed to help businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, find out more here.

Public bodies, organisations and charities have produced additional resources that may be useful to employers and employees, find out more here.

Further guidance for voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations can be found here.

Financial support and schemes

The UK Government and other organisations have rolled out grants and loans to help businesses manage the impact of COVID-19. Schemes that have a direct link to the tourism industry can be found below:

Cash Grant for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure

  • Small businesses in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector with a rateable value of £15,000 and £51,000 will receive £25,000 each. Find out more here.
  • More details on eligibility here.

Business Rates Holiday for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure

  • Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will not have to pay business rates for the 2020-21 tax year.

Find out more here.

Bounce Back Loan

The Bounce Back Loan scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000.

The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months.

Find out more here.

Zoo and Aquarium Support Fund

•    If you run a licensed zoo or aquarium in England and are experiencing severe financial difficulties because of lost revenue, you can apply for a grant of up to £100,000.

Find out more here.

Emergency funding

Arts Council COVID-19 Support 

  • Some £160 million of emergency funding has been made available for organisations and individuals that make up the arts, museums and libraries in the UK.
  • You MUST have a Grantium account to access this funding - you can find a video explaining how to do this here, as well as a guidance document here.

To set up your Grantium account, click here.

Find out more here.

Official updates and guidance from tourism bodies

Below are links to various tourism groups’ COVID-19 updates, statements and guidance. If you cannot find a relevant group to your business in this list, please contact your association directly.

COVID-19 Portals

A number of local business support organisations have created web portals and hubs to give you the most accurate information and guidance. These include:

Further advice and guidance

Businesses can sign-up for GOV.UK COVID-19 alerts here.

There is also a Government business support hotline to answer COVID-19 calls from businesses here.

VisitEngland's Business Advice Hub can help your business grow

VisitEngland’s free Business Advice Hub helps tourism businesses to grow, with free resources, advice and toolkits.

The Hub includes practical information on what to do when starting up, employing staff, how to be legally compliant and where to find local support. Become ‘internationally ready’ with the new Inbound Tourism Toolkit or improve your online presence using the Digital Marketing Toolkit.
Go to visitengland.org/businessadvice to get started.

Last updated: 28 May 2020