Some of the key findings include:
i. Financial Support
There appears to be some progress on business support grant payments – 64% of respondents had their application approved (up from 37% in the last survey).
However, there are still problems in the system and legitimate businesses are losing out. There remains an inconsistency of approach between local authorities and evidencing 140 days occupancy is particularly impacting those in rural areas.
Even when applications have been approved, many self-caterers have endured lengthy waits – approximately 70% have had to wait two weeks or more. There are others who have not applied at all because they do not believe that they qualify for any of the financial support schemes.
Just under half of self-caterers (42%) feel that the Scottish Government have been ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ in financially supporting their business. Just 28% deemed them ‘good’ or ‘excellent’.
ii. Financial Recovery
Looking ahead, 75% of respondents were supportive of self-catering reopening in Phase 2 of the lockdown routemap if travel restrictions were eased and robust cleaning guidance provided.
71% said they would be ready to reopen in Phase 2 subject to Scottish Government approval and the provision of cleaning guidelines.
However, 59% of self-caterers are concerned about community negativity towards their business, while a similar number (56%) are concerned about consumer confidence.
Given both community and consumer concerns, there was near unanimity (94%) that the Scottish Government should provide clear and effective messaging in terms of re-opening the tourist sector to assuage community concerns. Self-caterers also believe that VisitScotland and local authorities have a role in this communication process.
Just under half of operators (49%) are still feeling pessimistic about the future of their business,
a slight improvement on the previous survey which may reflect improvements in grant payments and discussions about reopening. This was also replicated in terms of operator feelings about
their business over the next 6-12 months.
Read the Full Survey Report: ASSC Sectoral Survey 5
Thank you to everyone that took part in the survey!