Clwydian Range Tourism Group

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A Message from Clwydian Range Tourism Group

CRTG is in regular contact with Visit Wales, Wales Tourism Alliance, Business Wales and with Flintshire, Denbighshire and Wrexham Councils to gain the latest information and understanding of developments which will impact our industry. We have found there is a wealth of information out there, but it is across several organisations and websites and the information is regularly changing.

We hope that by hosting all useful information in one place, both our members and other businesses have a place to come and find what they need. 

Please contact us by emailing membership@crtgmembers.co.uk should you need anything else.

If you haven't already, please join our Facebook Group too and make sure you are signed up to our newsletter.


New Survey, July 2020

As Covid-19 restrictions start to be  lifted we invite you to complete a very short survey to find out how you are progressing. This should only take around 5 minutes and it will help us all gain a better understanding of what is happening locally, how best to respond and how help might be given.

 

Thank you to all those who took part in our CRTG Covid-19 Tourism Impact Survey in May. Our findings are now available for you to read.

Survey Results

Support forum

We have created a discussion forum for our members to discuss anything Covid-19 related.

Visit the Forum

Key Links

We highly recommend checking the following website which will provide the most up to date advice:

Gov.uk   WHO.int Business Wales

Public Health Wales

Latest updates

Important:

Welsh Government has announced measures to 'unlock Wales' with a timetable for phased reopening. Pubs and restaurants can reopen on Monday 03 July. BBC Pubs and restaurants reopen Monday 03 July 2020

FAQs about Government update 

Government guidance for re-opening


Visit Wales and Visit Britain have launched the' 'We’re Good To Go/Barod Amdani' scheme. It is a free accreditation scheme for all tourism and events businesses to give customer confidence that you are Covid-aware - you do not have to be VW accredited to apply.

Please sign up below:

https://goodtogo.visitbritain.com/

FREE WEBINARS FROM BUSINESS WALES FREE WEBINARS FROM BUSINESS WALES

Book your place for a FREE 30 minute live session with Business Wales - topics include payment systems, staying connected with customers, and help customers find you online. 

In addition, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs will be hosting a webinar to discuss the plan at 16:30 on Wednesday 5 August. To book your place click Business Wales Webinar Invitation

 VISIT WALES CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

Keep up to date with the latest news from Visit Wales Coronavirus Update

WELSH GOVERNMENT UPDATE

These are the updated guidelines for Tourism and Hospitality Businesses. Guidance for Tourism and Hospitality Businesses

Open for Business

North East Wales website has launched an 'Open for Business section' where accommodation and attractions who will be open can be listed. 

Eat out to help scheme

Register your business for the Eat Out to Help out scheme launching on 13th July

Member Experience

Jenny runs Faraway Follies in Llandegla.  We thought sharing her  experience of reopening her beautiful self catering accommodation would be helpful and reassuring to other members:

"With great delight  we embraced the opportunity to reopen post lockdown. At the beginning of lockdown we had worked out that we had enough cash to get by until August without having to dip into savings, having fallen outside all of the possible support packages. So it was great news that we could open from 13th July, a whole two weeks before the cash would run out. Finally we could stop having to tell people that their booking wasn’t going ahead.

What did we have to do to reopen? Firstly, a risk assessment, which doesn’t have to written down if you employ less than five people, however printing off one of the many templates that are available, helped to focus the mind on the sort of things we needed to think about.

What PPE should we get? We armed ourselves with overalls to wear while we do the changeovers, along with Breathe Happy silicone masks as these don’t mist up your glasses and are much nicer to wear. An investment at £20 but surely your health is worth it? 

Next problem was how to handle the laundry. Pre lockdown we were asking people to bring their own bedding and towels, but I was really unhappy to be taking the business away from the team at A Touch of Class in Ruthin. So post lockdown I was determined to find a way that works. We bought some large calico laundry bags and we ask the guests to strip the bed into one bag, towels into another and bathrobes into a third, and if anything is stained to put a peg on the bag so we know to treat it before washing. These bags go straight in the machine and the whole load gets done in one which seems to be working quite well. We enrolled  for a cleaning course run Landlords’ Little Helper’s Cleaning School (I especially like that they know how to use an apostrophe!). The course was fairly basic, but gave me a feeling of confidence that I knew what I was doing. Through this course I also discovered Envirosafe for virus and bacteria control (alltec.co.uk), who recommended  misting bottles for spraying a very fine mist, which I bought from Amazon.

We set up hand sanitiser stations at the entrances to the lodges using amber glass bottles and plungers attaching them with simple metal brackets to the wall and blue ‘please use hand sanitiser’ stickers. Again, all from Amazon. I felt this was more in keeping with the image of our lodges than the commercial looking white plastic boxes. There are no TV’s in our accommodation, so the board games and jigsaws are all part of a stay with us. We made the decision to invest in a second set of games and we rotate these at each change over along with the leaflets giving people a little local information. This wasn’t particularly expensive, just a cheap set of dominoes, a couple of packs of playing cards, a dice game and a set of travel scrabble. About £25 for each site but gave us the peace of mind that we were not stripping the character out of what we offer here.

We remind guests that if they are uncertain about anything, to sanitise before and after use.  Guests have as much responsibility to keep themselves safe as you do to keep them safe. We also bought some small hand sanitiser bottles from the Clwydian Range Distillery to add to our gift hamper. It all takes a little longer to do a changeover, especially putting all the cutlery, crockery, utensils, mugs and glasses through the dishwasher up at the main house. So we have asked guests to check out by 10 am and open all the windows before they go, which allows us a chance to give the space a rest and let it ventilate before we head in to strut our stuff!  It’s all about keeping us safe as well as keeping our guests safe. We are fully booked until 16th September, with the treehouse booked out until November. We have a few orphan nights as we have made the decision not to accept single night stays with all the extra cleaning and sanitising. Yes we have had to invest to reopen and it is costing us a little more to run the show, but at least we are open and its lovely to have the guests back and see the delight on their faces as they marvel at the peace and beauty of where they are. I think throughout the whole of lockdown that is the thing I missed most.

Good luck everyone and stay safe."


Local Council Support

Our local Councils also have set up dedicated business support pages.

Flintshire

Flintshire County Council has dedicated sections on their website for local level support, relevant business support contacts, a business support directory, business advice and self-employment advice specifically related to Covid -19.

 Flintshire Covid-19 Support

Denbighshire

Denbighshire County Council has provided links on their website for business grants, information on rates and relief and other emergency support for businesses

Denbighshire Covid-19 Support

Wrexham

Wrexham County Council has a dedicated section to support for businesses, rate relief, grants and contact details

Wrexham Covid-19 Support

Welsh Tourism Business - Financial Support

Below are links to various financial information our members may find useful:

Welsh Government Business Grants and Rate Relief

The Welsh Government has announced a £1.4bn support package for all businesses listed on the business rates register, covering Business Rate Relief and Business Grants

The Business Grant has 2 different components.

Grant 1 : For retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in Wales, a grant of £25,000 will be offered for businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £51,000.

Grant 2 : For all other sectors the Welsh Government package also provides a £10,000 grant to all businesses eligible for Small Business Rates Relief with a rateable value of £12,000 or less.

The eligibility checker for the 2nd phase of the ERF fund is now open.

New application for NDR scheme closes on 30th June

These have to be applied for at local council level. Please click on the links below:

Flintshire

Flintshire Rate Relief application

Flintshire Business Support Grant application

Denbighshire

Denbighshire Business Rates Support Application

Wrexham

Wrexham Grant application

Economic resilience fund

Edit: the second phase of the ERF fund is currently open and is accepting new applications until 10th July (or until the fund is committed). Use their checker to see if you can claim here

Businesses can also benefit from a £400 million emergency pot providing:

  • grants of £10,000 for micro-businesses employing up to nine people. This includes sole traders employing staff. Qualifying businesses will be able to apply by mid-April.
  • grants of up to £100,000 for small and medium sized firms with between 10 and 249 employees. Qualifying businesses will be able to apply by mid-April.

Please find more information here (applications opened on the 17th April 2020)

Please also use the eligibility checker on Business Wales to see if you can apply:

Economic Resilience Fund eligibility checker tool

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

The CBILS supports small and medium-sized businesses, with an annual turnover of up to £45m, to access loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million for up to six years. It's delivered through 40 commercial lenders who are backed by the British Business Bank. Apply and find a lender through the British Business Bank website:

CBILs info and application

Bounce Back Loans

The new Bounce Back Loans scheme would help bolster the existing package of support available to the smallest businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Details as follows:

  • businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days

  • loans will be interest free for the first 12 months, and businesses can apply online through a short and simple form

The scheme will launch for applications on Monday 4 May 2020. Firms will be able to access these loans through a network of accredited lenders.

You cannot apply if you’re already claiming under the CBILS. 

Bounce Back loan info

Apply for Bounce Back loan here


Development Bank of Wales loan

DBoW has launched the Covid-19 Wales Business Loan Scheme. It allows businesses to apply for loans between £5,000-£250,000. It includes a 12 month capital and interest repayment holiday. No arrangement or monitoring fees. 2% interest fixed for 6 years. All Wales-based SMEs who have been trading 2 years or longer can apply. We would advise getting your application in sooner rather than later.

Info on scheme Scheme application form

Self employed income support scheme 

Click here for more information and how to apply.

Other Funding

Welsh Government Start-Up Grants

Eligibile start ups can apply for a £2,500 grant if they started trading between 1 April 2019 and 1 March 2020, helping them to continue trading through the pandemic.

Applications opened on 29th June.

Find out more here


Salesforce & Enterprise nation are offering £5,000 grants to eligible businesses. Applications in Wales will run from 13th-19th July.

To be eligible to apply, companies must:

  • Be registered at Companies House
  • Been established for at least 12 months
  • Have not received any other cash grant during 2020 in relation to COVID-19 from any Government
  • Be based in the UK with a British bank account
  • Have between 2 to 50 employees
  • Meet all other eligibility requirements as stated in the grant programme terms.

Find out more here

For CRTG members who are employers:

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Using this scheme, UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. All UK businesses are eligible. To access, employers will need to designate effected employers as furloughed workers and submit this update to HMRC. After this, HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs. Find information on eligibility and how to apply below:

Extended Furlough information here

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

ACAS Guidance for employers

Business Wales Webinars

Business Wales is running a series of free webinar events for Welsh SMEs on their website. Click here for more information.

North Wales Tourism Webinars

NWT are hosting a 30 minute webinar on Friday 15th May at 11am on 'tourism in the Covid-19 crisis'

Register here


Other Useful Information

If you run a business or are self-employed and are concerned about paying your tax due to coronavirus, you can call HMRC’s helpline for help and advice: 0800 024 1222.

For any Flintshire based businesses being approached about hosting key workers, please email covidbusinesscompliance@flintshire.gov.uk for guidance and information

'Welcome back' for tourism - E course from Llandrillo Menai

Secure your business, secure your future with digital (13-15th July 2020)

WTA cleaning protocols for re-opening

Sign up for NWT annual trade meeting

Guidance on cleaning for re-opening from Pascuk.com

Guidance on bookings before September

Guidance on 3 month account filing extension

Guidance for holiday accommodation businesses (Welsh Government)

Business Wales launch guidance on how to deal with customers during Covid-19 restrictions

WTA interpretation of latest government guidance for accommodation providers (20/4/20)

Guidance for Holiday Park Owners and Operators

Guidance for food businesses

Guidance on accommodation for key workers or vulnerable

Guidance to Businesses from ABI (Association of British Insurance)

Guidance on Self employment and Universal credit (gov.uk)

Guidance for farmers, landowners and rural businesses

HMRC Advice: Destroying spoilt beer, cider, wine or made-wine during coronavirus

ABI provides guidance on common question regarding Covid-19 insurance claims

https://www.fca.org.uk/news/press-releases/update-fca-test-case-validity-business-interruption-claims

Visit Britain have released details of how they will help the tourism sector recover from Coronavirus

Food Innovation Wales open helpline for producers and suppliers

UK Hospitality guidelines for re-opening

VAT Rates

VAT Reduced rates: On the 8th July, the government announced VAT registered businesses can apply for a 5% reduced rate for hotels and holiday accommodations. Find out more here


Registered Address:
CRTG
Midlist Farm
Halkyn
Holywell
Flintshire
CH8 8DH

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