John and I are fortunate. We have other sources of income so the Covid-19 outbreak hasn’t greatly affected us, other than limiting our lifestyle but that’s a small price to pay in the scheme of things.
Unfortunately for many other’s in the hospitality & other sectors the impact has been catastrophic, particularly for small businesses. Some of the government grant aid is not available to them, and you can’t furlough yourself if you own the company!
I cannot imagine being on the brink of losing everything because your insurance won’t pay out, your bank won’t help and you cannot find anything you are entitled to other than perhaps Universal Credit which won’t pay all your bills. I’ve read about so many people in this situation as I’m sure you have.
It is very desperate times for a lot of people in a lot of different sectors.
As you will know we only opened last year, so we haven’t established regular returnees to the B&B, nor did we get guests who booked months or weeks in advance, usually just days before, so when the Covid-19 outbreak started to cause concern, we were still closed for Winter and didn’t have any bookings.
Consequently we weren’t hit in the same way as many other small hospitality businesses with mass cancellations, some of which have thankfully been happy to re-book holidays later in the year or next year, but many have had to refund where holiday insurance hasn’t covered the cost.
Some businesses are not going to survive this and some will lose everything, including their homes.
So until this is all over, there are a few things we can ALL do to support small business:
- Write a review – if you have ever visited a place, stayed at some accommodation, eaten in a restaurant etc., you can help them now by writing a review.
- Invite all your friends on Facebook to like a business page.
- Share, like, comment on a Facebook post on a business page (or any other social media).
- To stay afloat some business are selling things like coupons or vouchers, so if you can afford to and its something you could/would use or could gift, then buy coupons/vouchers or pre-book holidays but only where it is clear that you will get your deposit refunded or any time limit for use will be extended if the Covid-19 outbreak continues indefinitely.
- Some people are utilising other skills and selling services online during this time to keep afloat, so if you fancy learning a new skill, like how to cook or a new language for example then you could fill your time usefully and help someone else out financially. Every little helps!
When this is all over and you like many others might be desperate for a break, then the other HUGE thing you can do is book your next holiday with a small business, not an international chain that doesn’t need your money quite as much. But if you are going to book with a small business than go the next step and BOOK DIRECT. Not only will you save money but you will be supporting small businesses.
You might not feel confident enough or travel restrictions might not let you travel abroad but even a small trip or #staycation in your own country would be helping the hospitality industry out enormously as well as your own mental health after being cooped up for so long! I personally can’t wait to get out and about again, eat in restaurants, drive around freely, visit friends and family.
During the pandemic crisis, online travel agents (OTA) have treated hotels and accommodation providers appallingly. They changed their terms and conditions, they didn’t pay these businesses and even charged them commission for their cancelled bookings.
So please BOOK DIRECT, it might not always be the easiest thing to do, as it is a lot easier to search and book with an online travel agent but it is the right thing to do.
Every time you book with an OTA you are paying anywhere up to 20% in extra commission that goes straight to that OTA.
It’s definitely easier to find us on places like Booking and Air, but then please GOOGLE us! Most of us have a google business page or a website with our contact details and/or booking facilities.
It is usually cheaper to book direct, so YOU save money but we receive all of the money, and in doing so you are helping to keep the small business hospitality industry alive along with many other sectors too!!