It is hard to deny the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the hospitality sector. Along with tourism, it is one of the worst sectors affected by the public health measures put in place to cope with the spread of the COVID-19, with 80% of venues closed in April. Given this, the phenomenal success of the ‘eat out to help out’ scheme was welcomed and a lifesaver for many businesses.
However, for some, attention now turns to how to survive the coming months. There are challenges on the horizon; businesses face the possibility of a local or national lockdown, and the furlough scheme, which was a crucial support scheme for the hospitality sector, is due to wind down in the coming weeks. Businesses themselves are coping with lower sales and higher costs, with many introducing measures to ensure public safety and prevent the spread of the virus.
In recognition of this challenging situation, Business Gateway is there to help with the launch of a national campaign to raise awareness of the support available to small businesses and the self-employed who are continuing to feel the effects of the coronavirus outbreak.
Whether starting up or returning to running a business, Business Gateway can help present options and solutions to the challenges facing business owners right now. HR and furlough, managing cash flow, restructuring, diversifying and moving business online are just some of the topics being addressed on a day to day basis.
DigitalBoost, Business Gateway’s digital skills programme has also received an additional £1.5m funding, offering a critical lifeline to businesses navigating this new business environment. A free digital health check, webinars, online tutorials and more, can help business owners upskill to set their business up for success.
There is, as with all times of recession, an increased likelihood of redundancy which could result in an increased spike in start-ups. We know from our own research that while the pandemic is a concern, across Scotland, interest in starting a business remains high, with people citing reasons such as being their own boss, doing something they enjoy and exploiting an opportunity in a particular sector. This is to be encouraged and the Business Gateway campaign aims to ensure that start-ups are aware of and have access to the critical support they need to get their idea up and running during challenging economic times.
Regardless of your needs during these challenging times, our advisers are available to provide specialist, tailored 1:1 support, via phone or Skype to help your business survive, discover possibilities, and take advantage of the crucial support that is available for the sector. Comprehensive online support is also available on the Business Gateway website: https://www.bgateway.com/coronavirus-business-support-across-scotland