We hope that you are managing to stay safe and well. Although not unexpected, we were of course saddened by last night's news that the UK lock-down is going to continue for another three weeks at least. Such a shame when this is a time that visitors should be flocking to Lancashire, especially with the weather as it is. Yet we have to continue telling them to stay home.
These are unimaginably trying times, and we want to let you know that we are here to help in any way that we can. Please do go to our website for advice and guidance on the support available for tourism and hospitality businesses. Some of the schemes are being adapted or extended, such as the Job Resilience Scheme, which has been extended to cover staff employed up to 19 March, and the Self-employed Income Support Scheme, which has clarified the way that income is calculated. If you have any queries at all please #AskForHelp.
If you believe that you are eligible for the retail, leisure and hospitality grant but have not yet been approached, then we urge you to follow this up. Government advice for business was that they did not need to apply, they would be approached directly by their local authority. However, that has not been possible for all authorities, especially if your rate relief means you don't have to make payments and so are not on their relevant finance system. Most authorities have a simple to use form you can complete to check, or you can #AskForHelp.
We are really keen to understand which support schemes you have been able to access, how simple or complex that has been and where businesses might be falling through the gaps and finding themselves ineligible. We do not want to add any unnecessary burden at this time, but we are co-ordinating a Lancashire wide response to the DCMS call for evidence on the impact of this crisis, and we want to make sure that we put forwards a powerful argument about the particular challenges faced by the tourism and hospitality sector. This will feed directly into the emerging plans to support recovery.
To that end, we will be sending out a further partner survey next week. We realise that you may feel inundated with such requests, but it really is important to gather this intelligence across the entire sector. If you could find the time to take part it would be greatly valued.
In the meantime, we continue to push out inspirational content on all our digital platforms, and we continue to be amazed and delighted by the way that our partners are not only finding ways to connect with their audiences, but also to help and support each other, and the NHS. We are immensely proud to be part of this incredible county.
Please remember to tell us if you are offering accommodation or services for key workers or offering take away services, as well as keeping us up to date with any promotions you have or virtual experiences and we will continue to promote these where we can.
We also appreciate that many of our regular contacts may be working on altered work patterns, or working under additional pressures just now, so please do let us know if you need us to add other team members to our database to ensure our communications are reaching you. Just drop us an email with any updates.
Keep going, keep safe, stay strong and stay in touch. We are here if you need us.