Social media campaign aims to help put Bristol’s hospitality industry on road to recovery

July 21, 2021

Bristol’s pandemic-hit independent cafés, restaurants and other hospitality and tourism-related businesses will be showcased in a social media campaign aimed at getting local people to use them throughout the summer.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) launched #MyHiddenGems this week to coincide with the official end of Covid-linked restrictions and the chance for many businesses to open fully for the first time in 16 months. 

The campaign encourages people to champion businesses they are particularly fond of using the hashtag #MyHiddenGems on Twitter and adding the local FSB Twitter account handle – @FSBGlosandWoE in the Bristol’s case.

The tweets or other posts will then be promoted throughout the FSB’s social media and elsewhere to create a groundswell of support for local companies.

The campaign focuses specifically on businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector which have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic – they were often the first to close their doors and the last to re-open them. 

FSB development manager for Gloucestershire and the West of England, Sam Holliday, pictured, said it was a good time to remind people of the great businesses on their doorsteps that desperately need support after their most challenging year ever.

“The re-opening is obviously great news in many ways for business but with Covid-19 case levels rising businesses are still uncertain how quickly they will fully be back to normal,” he said.

“We hope our campaign will encourage people to use the power of social media to highlight their favourite, cherished local businesses in the hope it will increase their footfall and give the area the economic boost it so badly needs.”

Chair of FSB’s England Policy Unit, Ian O’Donnell, added: “After 16 months of disruption, Monday’s reopening was a big moment for small businesses and the self-employed.

“Many will be breathing a sigh of relief, particularly in sectors like nightlife, hospitality and events, which have been unable to open or operating on a much restricted and smaller scale.

“Although small firms will now be looking to the future, many have been burdened with high debt levels at the same time as funding their own reopening, which may have been marred by employees being told to self-isolate by the NHS app despite testing negative. 

“This campaign therefore gives people the opportunity to shout about their favourite small firm, whether a café, shop, pub – anywhere they want to share with others.”

The campaign follows a recent FSB report A Menu for Recovery, which suggested a series of recommendations to the government to help the sector recover, including a new hospitality and tourism strategy, overseen by a minister, extending the hospitality VAT rate reduction to 5% until March 2022, and 100% business rates relief throughout the full financial year.



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