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East Midlands Chamber News

Free support for Visitor Economy businesses to combat Covid-19 impact

Visitor economy businesses in Leicestershire can benefit from a new dedicated support programme aimed at combatting the economic impact of Covid-19.

The Business Gateway Growth Hub, delivered by a consortium of organisations including East Midlands Chamber, has joined forces with industry experts to help tourism, hospitality, sport and leisure businesses reach new consumer markets.

Some firms in the sector have been able to adapt quickly to problems caused by the lockdowns through effective business planning, finding new product areas and securing new customers, but many others are at risk of closing if they can’t find new ways to generate income.

How Business Gateway Growth Hub programme will help visitor economy businesses

The free Growth Hub support programme features webinars and smaller support clinics with industry experts. Topics include looking at what authentic tourism looks like, understanding the local visitor economy and how it can add value, what consumers are looking for, and the power of customer excellence and positive reviews.

Growth Hub manager Jon Egley said: “Businesses have been hit hard by the latest lockdown, and the visitor economy sector is no exception.

“We wanted to create a programme that would relate to these businesses and provide the support they need, right now.

“I’m pleased to be working with experts who speak the sector language and can share their knowledge to enable businesses to recover and prepare to come back fighting.”

Sally Coleman, strategic tourism manager in the place marketing team at Leicestershire County Council, added: “It has been a very difficult time for the visitor economy, but there are things businesses can be doing to hit the ground running when doors open up once again.

“This programme has been developed based on feedback received across the sector and we feel the range of topics will give businesses the tools they need not only to bounce back, but to learn how to access new markets and develop new skills.” 

The programme kicks off on 28 January with a two-part webinar, titled The road to recovery: Creating memorable and authentic visitor experiences

The second webinar takes place on the 11 February and addresses Working with the group travel market.

For more information, click here.


The Business Gateway Growth Hub is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

It is delivered in partnership with Leicester City Council, Leicestershire County Council, East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire), and the Leicester and Leicestershire Local Enterprise Partnership.