Our first thoughts are with the people whose health has been affected by Covid-19 and the heathcare workers worldwide who are doing such a tremendous job, and yet the economic impact and uncertainty has caused huge concern to people in all walks of life. The economic impact of this Corona Virus has been particularly devastating to the hospitality industry which has come to a complete standstill with no clear date when business can start to resume.
Hotels, B&Bs, Guest Houses and Holiday Homes are receiving virtually zero income at this moment in time therefore we have compiled a list of actions that UK Business Owners can take to mitigate lost income in order to keep their businesses afloat until the pandemic situation begins to ease.
Apply for the Government Cash Grant of £10k (non-repayable)
If you pay Business Rates to your Holiday Home’s local council (as opposed to Council Tax) then your Holiday Home should qualify for a £10k non-repayable cash grant from the government. If you own multiple Holiday Homes, then multiple grants should be available, provided you pay Business Rates for each property or are eligible for Small Business Rate Relief.
It is easy to apply online through your local council’s website . Typically payments are received in accounts within 14 days of application though this may depend on your local council.
Business Rate Relief
The government has reacted to the Corona Virus pandemic by advising small businesses that for a period of 12 months, they will not be charged Business Rates. You should not be paying Business Rates for your Holiday Home from April 2020 to March 2021. You do not need to take any action as this should automatically be managed by your local council.
Three Month Mortgage Holiday
To help keep your monthly expenditure down, you are likely to qualify for a 3 month Mortgage Holiday.
Again, it should be a very simple to go to your lender’s website and complete an online request form. In most cases they will ackowledge your request by email without you having to speak to an advisor on the phone.
Please note – Interest will still be charged
Contact your Holiday Home’s Utility Providers as in many cases they will be prepared to suspend your Water, Gas and Electricity services while your property is empty during the COVID-19 crisis.
You can also request the TV Licensing Authority to suspend your TV License until your Holiday Home reopens.
What else can you do?
With your Holiday Cottage empty, now is a great time to think about those home improvements you’ve been putting off. If you live next door or on the same plot as your holiday rental then this is something you can do now, otherwise our advise is naturally to wait until we receive government advice that permits travel to second homes.
You should now be planning your marketing ahead of time for when your holiday home is available to reopen. We’d all like to think people will be desperate to get away from home the moment the lockdown ends – hopefully before the summer passes.
Prepare now then your social media posts, and review your pricing.
If you are an Owners Websites client – did you know that your Holiday Home website’s free-to-use Holiday Calendar and booking system allows you to set discounts and vouchers codes? These are a great way of encouraging social media interaction.