Visit Herts calls for government to support small businesses following latest coronavirus advice

The tourism service for Hertfordshire is calling for support for small businesses

By Holly Patel
Tuesday, 17th March 2020, 5:00 pm

The CEO of the official tourism service for Hertfordshire has called on the government to support small businesses in the county following the latest advice regarding coronavirus.

Deirdre Wells OBE, the CEO of Visit Herts, wants the government to provide immediate cash injection to help small businesses and their teams survive.

The Prime Minister has said everyone in the UK should avoid "non-essential" travel and contact with others to curb coronavirus, as the country's death toll hit 55.

Visit Herts is supported by Hertfordshire County Council and Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership

A total of 1,950 cases of coronavirus have so far been confirmed in the UK, and 29 in Hertfordshire.

Visit Herts is a tourism service for Hertfordshire, it is supported by the county council and Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and is delivered by destination management specialists Go to Places.

In a joint statement, the Visit Herts CEO, Deirdre Wells OBE and Go to Places Chairman Bill Ferris OBE, said: "The latest advice from the government regarding the coronavirus has significant implications for our industry.

"As we approach the all-important Easter season we are faced with the prospect of a significant reduction in business for our members, due to the advice on social distancing.

"We understand that the priority must be to protect public health and due to the unprecedented scale of this virus, disruption to our everyday lives is inevitable.

"We are concerned, however, that many of our businesses will simply be unable to manage the downturn in revenue which this announcement will mean.

"Many small and medium sized businesses which are the lifeblood of our industry and our economy will struggle to manage cash-flow over this difficult period.

"We are therefore calling on the government to provide immediate cash injection to enable businesses and their teams to survive following the latest advice.

"Before this crisis took hold, our destination was in high demand, with an exciting year of events ahead of us.

"Government support now will ensure that our vibrant and innovative industry can weather the storm and be ready to rebuild when the crisis has passed.

"We at Visit Herts stand ready to do all we can to support our businesses through this difficult time and we urge the government to do the same."