Tunbridge Wells Common

Tunbridge Wells Common

town vista by David Hodgkinson

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4th July re-opening news

Visit England has launched their quality mark 'We're Good to Go' for businesses to use to indicate "COVID safe" standards to provide reassurance and confidence to the sector. It is a free scheme and you apply online.

The prime minister confirmed that 4 July is the re-opening date for self-contained accommodation including hotels, campsites and overnight stays will be allowed. Pubs and restaurants can re-open too but with table service only and customer contact details to be collected.

Hairdressers can open but not beauty salons, spas or swimming pools. Indoor gyms, waterparks, soft play, nightclubs and bowling alleys will need to remain closed for the time being.

Weddings and churches can open with a maximum of 30 people at one time in attendance.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has issued 5 simple steps to make this easy for you:

Ask for only what's needed

Be transparent about what you need and why

Carefully store the data in a secure manner

Don't use the data for anything else like mailing lists

Erase it securely

If you need more help, the ICO is available to answer your questions on 0303 123 1113.

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council has put together a booklet for Tourism & Hospitality Re-opening guidance with strategic advice and tips to help you get through this difficult time.

Re-opening Retail in Tunbridge Wells Borough

You can read about the Council's plans for re-opening. This covers actions taken by the Council ready for 15 June re-opening of shops and links to risk assessments and notices to display on your premises.

Please make sure, if you are opening a retail unit, that you read all the guidance available to you to help with health and safety and risk assessments. Penshurst Place has a good summary on their website to indicate the measures they have put in place specifically for the visitor.

Business Support for the tourism and hospitality sector during the COVID19 pandemic

The deadline to apply for the new discretionary business grant was 7 June 2020. Some applications have been paid and we are going through the appeals stage.

For those that pay or are registered for rates and receive relief, the business grant application process is still open and can be found on the Council website.

TWBC has a range of guidance for businesses in the borough including specifically for food businesses wishing to diversify and for looking after closed premises. This is updated regularly. There is also a summary page of all the financial help that is available including furloughing.  We regularly share timely information on our business Twitter account too - @TWBC_Business

If you'd like to be kept up to date then please fill in the form above to receive our next bulletin by email.

If you need urgent business help or advice, please call the business support hotline on 03333 602 300.

We are communicating with tourism organisations like Visit Kent and Tourism South East to keep up to date with the latest.


Help with Marketing

In the meantime, Visit Kent has provided a toolkit for keeping our region in front of the visitors' eyes on social media.  We are, as are they, of course sensitive to over-promotion and will keep the safety of the local population in mind.

The "new normal" webinar for the hospitality industry came to us free from ThreeSixtee via the South East Local Enterprise Partnership. 

If you can share your new practices to reassure your clientele with us in the form of video or images then please do, tag us in on Facebook (@VisitTunbridgeWells) or on Twitter (@TWellsTourism - consumer profile) and we can help spread the news.


Keep Tourism Going

Guidance for working safely is constantly being updated on the government's website.

Free webinars to learn how to adapt are available from Visit Kent, Visit Britain and the Kent and Medway Growth Hub. Some also include how to's for Facebook and Instragram if you're not used to these for your business.

The Experience project is an EU funded scheme set up for businesses who have new ideas for rural well-being products to attract visitors beyond the summer season. At this time, diversification is key and this is an ideal support package to get your new products flying.


Business advice

If you are wondering how to start up or expand your tourism business, The National Centre for Micro-Business, approved by the Council and West Kent Partnership, provide a free expert business consultation.  They will talk to you, in confidence, and help you put together a targeted plan including the vital cashflow plan and where to obtain funding if it available.  To obtain more details please see their website. Highly recommended by other businesses.


Cybercrime

Cyberscams, online fraud, digital crime - these are all hot topics in business today.  Central Government has provided funds to help microbusinesses tackle these worrying issues.  Check the Cybercrime tab on Tunbridge Wells Borough Council's Business Support and Advice web pages for the details. You will also find advice on what to do if your business is affected.


Grants For Your Business

For more information on growing your business, the TWBC website is helpful.


The Kent Guild

Supporting the Tourism and Hospitality sectors, find out what assistance is available to help you recruit the right staff for your business. The Kent Guild is part of Visit Kent Business. You can get help recruiting apprentices, support and advice training young people and useful contacts from them.


Business seminars and workshops

There are free business support and advice workshops on the www.tunbridgewells.gov.uk/business/enterprise-and-regeneration web pages including one-to-one advice to help you grow your business as well as advise new start ups.


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