Now five working weeks since the government announced lockdown measures across the UK, Cumbria Tourism is continuing to support affected businesses with vital help from its strategic partners, representing all aspects of the tourism sector.
As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to bite, Cumbria Tourism and its partners have been offering continual support, including mortgage holidays being given to around 900 commercial businesses in the hospitality and holiday let sector, by The Cumberland Building Society.
While Cumbria Tourism welcomes government support such as the furloughing scheme, concern remains for businesses which may be able to survive in the short term, but whose grants and loans are just covering essential costs, and not replacing profits.
Cumbria Tourism says those concerns reinforce the need for Strategic Partners to continue to work closely with the organisation, enabling them to best understand how more businesses can be assisted.
Announcing further support this week, Simon Whitwham, Head of Commercial for The Cumberland, says, “We have deferred and waived business current account charges as part of a wider package of support for business customers and have already agreed payment holidays for over 900 of our commercial mortgage holders, accounting for over £250 million of mortgages across the hospitality, tourism and holiday let sectors.
“Business current account customers will have their monthly and transactional fees from January to March 2020 deferred for three months, and monthly fees for April to June 2020 will be waived, although transactional fees will stand.
“We worked flat-out to ensure we could help businesses before they were due to make payments at the end of March, re-organising our teams to focus on helping businesses as soon as coronavirus began to send shockwaves through the sector. The Government is doing a lot to help with small business rate relief, furloughing staff and other measures, but income has been wiped out.”
The Cumberland’s chief executive, Des Moore, says: “One of our top priorities during this crisis is to ensure we are supporting our customers who are facing financial difficulties. The business support package we have announced should help provide some breathing space for our customers, and our team will continue to work with them to provide whatever support we can during this unprecedented period.”
Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, says, “Yet again, we see another example of the great work being done by our Strategic Partners to aid the economic recovery. While it will be a gradual process for everyone in the hospitality and leisure sector, businesses can continue to take comfort in the help being offered by our partners like The Cumberland Building Society.”