Caption: Cllr Kam Kaur of Warwickshire County Council

Hospitality and tourism businesses have been urged to contact Warwickshire County Council to help with their recovery from the pandemic.

The Council launched its Survive, Sustain and Grow (SSG) programme last autumn to give SMEs the opportunity to take advantage of a free specialist business support scheme.

The programme offers expert consultancy, with potential grant funding, to businesses planning to reconsolidate and grow.

It is open to companies from any sector but with the tourism and hospitality industry hit hardest during the pandemic businesses from the sector are urged to get in touch.

Warwick-based Adventure Sports is looking ahead with renewed confidence following help from SSG.

Adventure Sports co-founder Steve Richardson said: “In March 2020, Covid stopped our business in its tracks. The Job Retention Scheme and Government grants enabled the business to furlough employees and safeguard all jobs, but for the business to recover we needed to urgently increase sales.

“We knew we had to replace our aged website and online booking system but successive lockdowns and reduced trading made that economically impossible.

“We applied to Warwickshire County Council for a Covid-19 Recovery and Investment Grant after receiving support from the SSG programme. We were absolutely delighted when our application was successful.

“The creation of the new website will safeguard the business and the jobs we generate and allow the business to increase sales and create more jobs over the next three years. We are immensely grateful to Warwickshire County Council for its support.”

Another business to have benefited from SSG support is Winchcombe Farm Holidays.

Owner Jo Carroll said: “The SSG programme allowed me to sit back and work through my plans for the business with Andy Woodward, one of the Council’s dedicated consultants, and make informed decisions on how we move forward.

“We now have a sixth cottage in planning which should be open for the summer of 2021, and the new plan will help drive business onsite while also supporting the local village shops, pubs and attractions in the area.”

Cllr Kam Kaur, Portfolio Holder for Business and Place at Warwickshire County Council, urged hospitality and tourism businesses to get in touch.

“This programme is an excellent initiative funded by Warwickshire County Council and is proving a terrific success,” she said. “Being able to assist businesses like Adventure Sports and Winchcombe Farm Holidays not only secures their future but provides much wider benefits for the local economy and supply chain.

“We would love to hear from more businesses from the tourism and hospitality sectors and support them to enhance their own offer and, at the same time, Warwickshire’s offer as a wonderful tourist destination.”