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WIT Wednesday 1 April 2020: Follow Up

Photo by Joanna Kosinska

Check out the industry concerns, reflections and helpful resources shared in the first virtual WIT Wednesday held on 1 April 2020.

WIT Wednesday 1 April Follow Up

Thank you to all who joined us on our first ever Zoom WIT Wednesday. We had 35 participants from Shetland to London, and it was incredibly valuable to hear what others were experiencing, from the hospitality, festivals and events, tours and attractions, food and drink and other sectors.

Contact any of the WIT board members, connect with us on LinkedIn or DM or tag us on Twitter. We can also facilitate introductions – we are here to help and support.

Next WIT Wednesday – tell us what you want us to cover

What do you want us to focus on? Tell us which specific topics or what would be helpful to cover. Dates and time (morning, evening?) to be confirmed – either Wednesday 15 or Wednesday 22 April are possible.

We’ve shared the industry concerns, reflections and helpful information generated from today’s chat. We’ve highlighted below all the useful and positive suggestions, links, resources, contacts and offers of help made during the Zoom chat today.


Access to funding and loans via banks and difficulties encountered there, eligibility for small business loans and current government grants, people being put on furlough in their jobs, having their hours cut, work drying up and which direction to take for small fledging businesses which haven’t been trading very long – and lots more. The STA offers daily updates for businesses with questions on these:

  • Most tour guides don’t have physical premises so can’t claim the government grants which are based on Non-Domestic rates
  • B&B’s under 6 bed spaces also excluded as they pay council tax not non-domestic rates
  • Business events at academic venues: if students don’t return in Autumn, what opportunities might this mean for conference and event organisers connected with universities and colleges?
  • Events and conferences – what will these look like in the future? Things will be very different. New business models and practices will be required. Research is needed. Pan Scotland, could this be something to collaborate on between industry agencies and organisations?
  • Managing remote teams is a new challenge and one which can require different skillsets. Motivating people who are used to a different and more structured, people centric environment is challenging.
  • Mental health and wellbeing of employees, students, business owners – importance of looking after this particularly during the lock-down


  • Using technology to engage for work and social is vital just now – teach yourself or sign up to webinars to hone your skills – this provides a lifeline for us all to communicate.
  • Now is a good time (depending on the individual situation) to apply innovation and innovative thinking as many businesses may have to pivot completely if they are going to come back post-crisis.
  • With time on our hands, a good use would be to spend it thinking constructively about our own and/or our businesses in the future.
  • Spending our time learning/training/developing a new skill for the return to work can be useful and valuable.
  • Research and development –it’s unlikely for many of us to have the time available again so could this be used to do research, work with academics, for example, looking at projects with desk research and tapping into the help of Interface for example? Desk research is possible.
  • Innovation brainstorming would be very welcome from a lot of small businesses who are seeking direction – how can we channel this or help facilitate this?

Suggestions, Resources, Tips

Business Support

Key information and news sources available here – sign up for regular updates with most of the key providers such as STA, VisitScotland and ASVA.

COVID-19 Small Business Support Scotland– private Facebook group with over 400 members, set up by people in the tourism sector – click on the link to join.

To receive the public affairs daily scoop-up, which is really useful for announcements on grants, new measures etc, email Angela Casey of Pagoda PR to be added to the list for mail-outs.

Sally Rae, one of the WIT Board Members, is happy to help people with sorting out their LinkedIn profiles, CV’s and all aspects of recruitment – connect with Sally on LinkedIn.

Mentoring – WIT offers a 60-minute matched mentoring session to WIT members – if you haven’t taken advantage of this yet, please do – contact WIT Board member Julie Grieve for details.

We already have offers from members to mentor from the food and drink industry, digital, marketing, business development – so please do get in touch.

Scotland Food & Drink daily updates, which you can sign up to.

Innovation support and Business Development

Working with academics, desk research, collaborative projects – free business support: Interface 

Sustainable Tourism

Sustainable First inspires actions and strategies for moving towards a more sustainable pattern of development in tourism providing prosperity and opportunities for all.

Learning resources – sign up for free courses to develop your skills

Data for Tourism – free online course starts Monday 6 April.

Futurelearn also has lots of great free online courses.

Google Digital Garage – work through at your own pace.

Health and Wellbeing

Wellbeing in LockdownWIT Wed 010420

Virtual daily yoga classes

Rangan Chatterjee Podcasts

Don’t forget to sign up to the free WIT newsletter to keep in touch with us regarding our next virtual events and more information.

*Header Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash