In this section
As the COVID-19 situation develops, we understand the devastating impact this is having on the front line of the hospitality sector. Be assured that the entire VisitAberdeenshire team has our wonderful tourism colleagues in our collective thoughts. We love promoting and helping to develop businesses and will do all we can to help us get through this as we find our way through such uncharted territory. Our Tourism Development team will ensure that all relevant communication on support and advice is shared with tourism businesses across the region, and we will develop new initiatives to provide support as requirements become clear.
Please continue to contact us by email or phone. Also, please let us know what kind of practical support you need from us – we’re here to help.
As advice becomes available, this page will be updated with the latest information and advice to support tourism businesses. Please find useful links below.
Useful sources of advice and help
Business Open - Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire
In response to requests for an easy way for you to identify which businesses are open, we have prepared a list of the businesses in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire featured on our website who have advised us that they are now open. We will continue to update this on a regular basis as more businesses advise they are open. View the list of open businesses here >>
VisitScotland’s COVID-19 advice page contains links to a wealth of business advice and resources. Visit their Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice page here >>
It has also provided some best practice advice on what to share on your digital channels >>
Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA)
STA is issuing regular updates on its activity and any announcements. Sign up to receive its updates here >>
STA is receiving numerous requests from journalists looking to speak to tourism businesses about the impact Coronavirus is having. If any business is happy to speak to the media about their situation and concerns, please complete this form.
Preparing for Business Post-Lockdown
Tourism and Hospitality Guidance from the Scottish Government
The Scottish Government has issued guidance to help businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector get ready for the potential relaunch of tourism on 15 July. It includes procedures for staff and customer safety, as well as an operations checklist. Read the guidance >>
Get Tourism Ready
VisitScotland has created a one-stop-shop to gather together the Scottish Government guidance and guidance produced by sector groups to provide you with best practice advice to help you prepare to open and welcome visitors again. View the VisitScotland Get Tourism Ready page here >>
We’re Good To Go
A UK-wide industry standard and consumer mark has been launched to give confidence to your visitors that you're adhering to official government and sectoral guidance. To obtain the mark via this free scheme, businesses must complete a self-assessment on the 'We're Good to Go' online platform, including a checklist confirming you've put the necessary processes in place and are adhering to official Government and sectoral guidance. Read more and apply here >>
Find Business Support
The Find Business Support website has compiled a comprehensive list of funding sources to support businesses facing disruption from COVID-19. Read more here >>
Business Gateway has created a list, which is being updated daily, of all business funding and grants made available to businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak, detailing who is eligible and how it can be accessed. Download the list here >>
VisitScotland has put together a summary of financial support available to tourism, hospitality and events businesses in Scotland. Read more here >>
A business helpline has been launched by the Scottish Government to provide advice and guidance on COVID-19. The helpline is open Monday – Friday, 8.30am – 5.30pm and the helpline number is 0300 303 0660. Callers should select option one to speak to the COVID-19 team.
Scottish Enterprise (SE)
It has compiled a comprehensive list of funding sources to support businesses facing disruption from COVID-19. Read more here >>
It has also prepared a useful planning tool with practical tips to help businesses consider what actions they may want to consider in order to prepare for, and mitigate against, the challenges and disruption they may face. COVID-19 Tourism Checklist and Action Plan >>
Business Gateway has gathered relevant information and support to help businesses with the COVID-19 pandemic. It has also created a list, which is being updated daily, of all business funding and grants made available to businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak, detailing who is eligible and how it can be accessed. Download the list here >>
Its Business Advisers are happy to take calls from businesses to provide advice on a variety of challenges that you may now be experiencing, including examining your short-term cash flow position, HR aspects and identifying appropriate government financial support. It is also running several webinars helping businesses manage some of the challenges being faced. Visit the Business Gateway virtual and local business support page here >>
Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce (AGCC)
AGCC has set up an online hub to provide practical advice, both from Government and from the Chamber, and to provide activity updates from across the Chamber network on the actions it is taking to support businesses through the ongoing COVID-19 situation. Read more here >>
Aberdeen City Council
Visit the Invest Aberdeen page to view available support for businesses and communities in response to COVID-19. Visit their page >>
The Coronavirus Business Support Fund is now open for applications and is being administered by local authorities. The deadline for applications is 10 July 2020. Aberdeen City Council Business Support Fund application form >>
The Scottish Government has announced a relaxation of the planning requirement on food businesses offering takeaway or delivery services. All food businesses will be able to trade in this way without formal planning consent. Aberdeenshire Council has published guidance for businesses considering providing food for takeaway by collection or delivery: Latest guidance from Aberdeen City Council >>
Aberdeen City Council has issued advice and guidance for current licence holders and new applicants on changes to their Licensing service >>
Guide for businesses on physical distancing
Aberdeen City Council has produced guidance that outlines the steps that both businesses and the Council are likely to have to make to ensure the safe re-opening of business premises.
Aberdeenshire Council has put together the latest coronavirus advice with relevant links for businesses in terms of support, advice and links for more information. Visit their page >>
The Coronavirus Business Support Fund is now open for applications and is being administered by local authorities. The deadline for applications is 10 July 2020. Aberdeenshire Council Business Support Fund application form >>
The Scottish Government has announced a relaxation of the planning requirement on food businesses offering takeaway or delivery services. All food businesses will be able to trade in this way without formal planning consent. Aberdeenshire Council has published guidance for businesses considering providing food for takeaway by collection or delivery: Latest guidance from Aberdeenshire Council >>
Aberdeenshire Council has issued advice and guidance for current licence holders and new applicants on changes to their Licensing service >>
Easing lockdown business support
Aberdeenshire Council has launched a new scheme to help businesses get back up and running as the region's town centres look to reopen. A one-stop-shop for business enquiries has been created with a strategic group of officers in place to handle enquiries. You can find information and advice and sign up to upcoming webinars through the Easing Lockdown portal >>
Webinars and Workshops
We have run a series of webinars exploring insights into what impact COVID-19 will have on tourism in North-east Scotland and exploring the guidelines for reopening for different sectors of the tourism and hospitality sector. Recordings of all our webinars are available here >>
Business Gateway: Webinars
Business Gateway is running several webinars on a variety of topics to help businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak. These include managing your business reputation, communication, running a business remotely and working from home among others. View upcoming webinars here >>
It has also recorded several online tutorials that you can watch at your leisure, including how to get your business through the current emergency, keeping your business safe online and digital marketing strategy. View online tutorials here >>
ACAS: Advisory Webinar for Employers
Advisory, Arbitration and Arbitration Service (ACAS) is also holding several free webinars providing practical advice for employers to help manage the impact of COVID-19 on the workplace. Sign up here >>
HMRC: Coronavirus (COVID-19) – support from HMRC
HMRC has produced videos providing an overview of the support available to help businesses, self-employed individuals and employers and their employees deal with the economic impact of COVID-19. The videos are available on HMRC’s YouTube channel >>
Edinburgh Tourism Action Group (ETAG)
ETAG are running a number of webinars which are open for anyone to join. Topics include why you need to keep marketing during the pandemic and auditing your tourism business website. View upcoming webinars here >>
Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland: Learn @home app
HIT Scotland has updated its app with a collection of self-development links and activities that will help you continue to be engaged with the industry and update your skills and knowledge. Read more here >>
Support Managing Employees
Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)
FSB has outlined guidance for employers to help businesses manage their staff and their responsibilities to them at this time. Click here to read more >>
Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS)
ACAS has published advice on their website for employers and employees. Click here to read more >>
New Job Finding Service for Tourism and Hospitality Workers
A new free-to-use jobs portal to help workers from the tourism and hospitality sectors who have found themselves displaced as a result of COVID-19 has been launched.
Supported by the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) and UK Hospitality, the recruitment portal is designed to help tourism and hospitality staff find at least temporary employment in other sectors such as food retail and supply, health care and delivery that now require high volumes of staff to get through the crisis. For more information click here >>
Advice for Accommodation Providers
The UK Government has issued guidance and advice for those providing hotel and other accommodation in the UK >>
The Scottish Government has issued guidance for businesses on social distancing, which includes full details on exceptions for residents allowed to remain. It has also issued guidance for campsites, caravan and holiday parks >>
COVID-19 Guidance for Non-Healthcare Settings
Health Protection Scotland has published guidance on the coronavirus for non-healthcare settings that includes workplace advice such as for hotels and hospitality settings where a guest may need to self-isolate in a hotel or holiday accommodation. COVID-19 guidance for non-healthcare settings >>
Free ecommerce software launched to help hoteliers during lockdown
Hop Software has developed a free-of-charge online shop to enable hotels across the UK to provide a click, collect and delivery food and drink service to local customers. Find out more about Hop Shop here >>
Advice for Event Organisers
On 23 March both the UK and Scottish Governments called for an immediate stop to public gatherings of more than two people for a period of three weeks, after which they will review the situation. EventScotland has prepared some advice for event organisers >>
What to do if you need to cancel or postpone an event on VisitAberdeenshire’s website
Our What’s On calendar is managed by The List, who has made the decision to temporarily remove all events prior to July 15 from our What’s On calendar. This is a temporary measure, and once the UK has been given the go-ahead to leave our homes and participate in gatherings again, The List will immediately set the feeds live so there will be no need to resubmit your event listing.
If you wish to cancel or postpone an event which had already been submitted, please click here to log in, then type in your event title to locate your event and follow the instructions at the top of the screen to cancel/postpone your event. Alternatively, you can go to www.thelist.co.uk, then search for your event and click the ‘Update this event’ box at the top right of the listing. This will not only cancel/postpone the event on our website, but also on The List and VisitScotland.com.
Advice for Food Businesses
Hotels Open for Key Workers
A list is available of hotels currently open during the lockdown period. Their primary purpose is to support the needs of key businesses and workers. This list will be updated weekly. Click here to download.