More than three weeks into lockdown, tourism businesses across Cumbria are being told the popularity of staycations will “surely rise”, with all businesses being urged to consider how well they are equipped for a possible rise in domestic customers.
Working with several strategic partners, Cumbria Tourism has been able to assist more than 1,000 separate enquiries from businesses seeking clarity on how to manage cashflow and ensure their speediest-possible recoveries.
Cumbria Tourism says their partners’ expertise in their respective sectors means the organisation is armed with the most up to date information and advice for its members. Among those partners is Penrith, Cockermouth and Carlisle-based law firm, Burnetts.
Burnetts Partner and Head of Commercial Property and Planning, Robbie Mather, says, “Yes, the short-term period is going to be tough, but allow yourself some positivity for the medium term. This is what this county has shown on numerous occasions over the past 20 years: The resilience to get back on its feet. While the loneliness and uncertainty are undeniably tough, we want to reassure you that this current climate will not last forever.
“For those that have not yet sought the assistance of the available schemes and initiatives designed to help or discussed the current climate with key advisors and stakeholders, it’s vital that they do so. It has been remarkable how many businesses in this sector have been creative and adapted to the current climate by taking their business to the consumer. We’ve seen this through the use of relaxed planning legislation to permit ‘click and collect’ of meals; virtual tours of attractions and accommodation; and other inventive cyber interactions.
“Now is an unexpected moment in time to re-evaluate business plans and decide how to execute the ideas when lockdown measures are lifted. They must ask, ‘what is unique about our business? Why should a consumer choose us? Try to make use of this downtime, and remember, being creative and adapting in these times will undoubtedly assist going forward. I have already had conversations with clients thinking about how they can extend the season. Think about ways you can diversify and extend your offering. A winter barbeque, anyone?
“What I have seen and heard over the past couple of weeks is that this is the kind of resilience and community spirt which will help see normality return. This ‘time-out’ period will have re-affirmed for many that being able to spend time with their loved ones is the number one priority. What better place to do this than in and around the Lake District?”
Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, adds, “We are extremely grateful to Burnetts for the advice and support they are offering businesses, such as helpful initiatives relating to the Business Interruption Loan, Job Retention Scheme, rates support and the available grants. By working closely with CT and using their expertise in the sector to work with us to support businesses at this crucial time, we’re in the best possible position to build our recovery.”
Businesses which require any support throughout this period are advised to contact Robbie, on 01228 552222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org