Extra support available for tourism businesses affected by Covid-19

07th Jan

The Humber LEP’s Business Growth Hub is inviting businesses in the region’s visitor economy to apply to a 100% funded grant scheme to support with Covid-19 business recovery.

First launched in September 2020, the Kickstarting Tourism grant scheme has awarded grants to more than 85 businesses to date, and with limited funding remaining, the Growth Hub is encouraging eligible businesses to register and then apply for the grant scheme once the online portal reopens this month.

Grants of up to £3,000 are available, and can be used to cover costs arising from implementing “return to normal” activities, such as working with consultants and specialist advisers to devise new marketing and sales strategies, or to look at introducing a new product or service to the business in order to diversify. Also, the grants can be used to fund the purchase of specialist equipment (costing £4,999 or less) to help with business recovery or to help provide new-to-the business products and services.

However, the grants cannot be used to cover “retrospective costs”; that is, to fund anything a business has already paid for. The grants can only be used to fund activities or equipment that is yet to be purchased.

Businesses will need to demonstrate the impact that Covid-19 has had on their business, and will also need to provide a brief business case on how they will use the grant, and how this will help the business “get back on its feet”.

A business in the visitor economy is one where the business is dependent on visitors for income, including both leisure and business visitors. Some examples of visitor economy businesses are accommodation providers, travel and transport businesses, hospitality businesses (pubs, cafes, restaurants and street food vendors), leisure and tourist attractions, travel agents, performing arts organisations, museums and cultural organisations.

Jon Brunton, Growth Hub manager at the Humber LEP, said: “We first offered these grants in September, and demand was unprecedented, with our grant processing team receiving over 100 applications within 48 hours.

“Now that we’ve worked through the applications that we’ve received to date, we are now in a position to invite further applications from new businesses. These grants are wholly separate from the other Government grants for businesses such as the Local Restrictions Grants available through local councils, so businesses can still apply for a Kickstarting Tourism grant even if they’ve had another type of grant from the Council, subject to state aid limits.

“We are therefore delighted that we will be able to support more businesses in the Humber’s vibrant – though for the moment under siege – Visitor Economy.”

Businesses can register as a “pre-application” via a dedicated online portal from today, January 7. The Growth Hub team will then invite full applications from eligible businesses that have registered on a first-come, first-served basis. Assistance to complete the grant application form can be provided by the Growth Hub’s business adviser team on request.

Visitor Economy businesses can find out more about this grant scheme, and can also access the online portal on the Growth Hub website here: humbergrowthhub.org/kickstarting-tourism-grants-for-smes

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