Business leaders in Warwickshire are appealing to the region’s MPs to help the hospitality, tourism and leisure sector survive the coronavirus crisis.
The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce chief executive, Louise Bennett, and Coventry City Councillor Jim O’Boyle, have penned an open letter to each MP across Coventry and Warwickshire to ask for their support for the sector.
The letter, which was sent just in advance of English Tourism Week (May 25-31), sets out a range of measures that could mitigate the impact on the sector and calls for short term interventions to be complemented by longer-term actions.
It highlights the need for urgent clear guidelines for the opening up of the sector, which ‘sensibly’ differentiate those within the sector such as hotels, B&Bs, conference venues, festivals, large scale (mass gathering) venues.
Clear guidelines would enable the sector to open up more quickly, but gradually and sensibly whilst ensuring everyone is Covid-19 safe.
The letter calls for Medium/longer term fiscal interventions for this sector, such as lower taxation regimes or a review of business rates and an extension of the job retention scheme, beyond October, for this sector-only.
It argues the need for a flexible Job Retention Scheme which encourages the sector to maintain employment and financially contribute to flexible working (alongside Government) at an acceptable level (living wage) and longer term investment in this sector via business support programmes.
The letter adds: “The reason we emphasise interventions and support for the long-term simply reflects that this sector’s own planning horizons are frequently long-term and although immediate interventions are to be welcomed, we must look to the future of this industry.”