With a client and connector portfolio showcasing a good representation of local tourism businesses, I was very interested to read details of the Kick-starting Tourism Package announced on 3 July.
Kick-starting Tourism – the government scheme
So what do we know so far (as extracted from here);
- £10 million new funding being made available to boost tourism in England for renewal and recovery
- The Kick-starting Tourism Package appears to be aimed at small businesses (but no definition given)
- The package is supported by the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014 to 2020
- Funding will be allocated to each Local Growth Hubs based on how much of their employment base is linked to tourism and hospitality businesses
- Activities supported through the £10 million grant can include:
- one-to-many events providing guidance to respond to coronavirus
- small grants (£1,000 – £5,000) to:
- help businesses access specialist professional advice e.g. human resources, accountants, legal, financial, IT / digital
- purchase minor equipment to adapt or adopt new technology in order to continue to deliver business activity or diversify
When we have sourced more details including eligibility criteria and how to apply, we will share these with you via this blog.
In addition to the above, we note that there was speculation in the press over the weekend about the introduction of a consumption voucher, which we understand is an idea that is commonly used to kick-start economic activity in China. This is thought to have a more beneficial impact than a VAT reduction or cash gifts which are more likely to be squirrelled away in people’s bank accounts. This would certainly be a welcome boost to the economy locally.
Coupling this with a VAT deferral enabling a retention of the VAT currently taken until next March, rolling this up with other VAT deferred to be paid back over, say, five years would ensure no hard cliff edge, currently due in March 21. These measures would help secure many tourism and leisure based businesses and help limit business failures through the back end of 2020 into 2021.