Survive, revive and thrive

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Sunrise over the Nature Reserve

No, this is not an article about Bear Grylls and how to stay alive under extreme conditions, nor how to protect yourself and those around you, fending off unwanted attention and coming out the other side in one piece. But in some ways there are comparisons here, because self preservation is in our minds, saving our businesses too, and the future is not yet clear.

What is clear though is that there are many groups and organisations who are doing what they can to help us all get through this including 1066 Country, the local tourist organisation, who among other things are lobbying government on behalf of our business community as many firms are ‘falling through the cracks’ and don’t always qualify for the support on offer.

An example would be that some business tenants are unable to claim the vital small business local grant if their rates bills are held in their landlord’s name. You may know of further examples of where one size doesn’t fit all and in order to canvass opinion 1066 Country are working with local businesses putting together ideas for recovery planning which include the following.

There are some really useful tips coming from 1066 Country who are lobbying MPs on our behalf.

1. Stay safe, stay local – travel is likely to be lifted incrementally, so our first customers will be local, then domestic, then international. Are you doing anything specifically to target locals? Running offers?

2. Open spaces – customers are likely to remain cautious for a little while after lockdown is lifted. We are blessed with many beautiful open spaces in 1066 Country, which will be both safe and very welcome after a long time spent indoors. Are you doing anything to capitalise on these?

3. The long awaited night out – in these weeks and months, birthdays, anniversaries and all kinds of other celebrations have been postponed. When people are able to go out again, will you be doing anything to target these delayed celebrations? Are you selling gift vouchers now for use later?

4. Family fun – there will be a lot of people who usually go abroad, who will be holidaying in the UK this year. Families are predicted to start travelling again sooner than older target groups – what can we do to tempt them to Rye and the local area?

1066 Country are tagging their social media with #lifeafterlockdown and #1066waiting for you as well as a page called #TreatOurKeyWorkers for any special offers you may be running for NHS workers and/or key workers.

Posting blogs for visitors

1066 Country usually reserve their blog for gold members only, but during the lockdown period they are opening it up to all members. If you’d like to feature, send them 200-400 words of text that promotes both your attraction and 1066 Country as a whole along with 3-5 landscape photos. See their latest posts Spring marches on in the gardens of 1066 Country and Rye Harbour celebrates 50 years of habitat restoration on their blog. Let’s remind our visitors what they’re missing!

Reminders and resources

• It’s important to keep working on your own website so Google knows it’s still in use and you don’t lose your SEO rankings – and even just a few tweaks will help.
• Let 1066 know of any virtual events you’re running so they can promote them
• Self-catering accommodation providers may find this (temporarily free) resource very useful.
• Hospitality businesses may find these (temporarily free) updates from UK Hospitality useful.

Image Credits: Barry Yates , 1066 Country .

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