Covid-19 Wednesday update

Can we find opportunity within the current crisis?

Let’s start with some positive ideas from Jane Lawler, “Self-isolating doesn’t stop most people from spending time in their gardens. And they’re going to have plenty of time to do just that. So this set me thinking about how to turn this Covid-19 catastrophe into an opportunity for garden product retailing?”


Malvern Shows cancelled

The following shows on the Malvern showground have been cancelled

  • CountryTastic – 9 April
  • RHS Malvern Spring Festival – 7-10 May
  • Three Counties Championship Dog Show – 4-7 June
  • Royal Three Counties Show – 12-14 June

The organisers are still hoping to hold Malvern Autumn Show at the showground as planned.

Business rates cut

The one year business rates holiday has been extended to all retailers as part of the government’s updated economic support for UK businesses and amid the coronavirus crisis.

When Chancellor Rishi Sunak first revealed the one-year business rates holiday in the Budget last week, it only applied to commercial premises with a rateable value under £51,000. This meant only small and independent retailers benefited, and the larger chains missed out.

Sunak has now extended the business rates holiday to all retailers starting in the next government financial year.

All Dobbies stores remain open

Dobbies has written to all customers: ‘All of our stores remain open and we continue to focus on offering the best possible service. We are working around the clock to ensure our shelves remain well stocked with essential groceries and fresh bakery items in our foodhalls, pet food for your four-legged friends and, of course, plants and gardening supplies.’

Acas Coronavirus advice for employers and employees has been updated

Acas Coronavirus advice for employers and employees has been updated. It includes new details on Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), use of holiday leave, increased advice around hygiene in the workplace and guidance for when employees need to self-isolate.

View:   Updated Coronavirus advice

HTA offers 60 day credit on National Garden Gift Vouchers

HTA writes, ‘Recognising the pressure on member businesses at this critical time we will be introducing from Monday 23 March a 60-day credit agreement for National Garden Gift Voucher purchases.’

Chairman James Barnes has also told members, “We will be keeping you informed throughout of the latest business support information available. There will be weekly updates on industry sales data to help you assess how the industry is faring and we’ll be reporting back to you on how we are progressing our ‘asks’ of Government.”

Blue Diamond garden centres and restaurants remain open

MD Alan Roper writes, “We are working hard to ensure your visit is as enjoyable as always whilst at the same time taking sensible precautions. Our team continue to be stringent around hygiene and daily cleaning regimes including thorough, frequent hand washing. We have also increased our cleaning in our restaurants, particularly for those areas and items touched regularly by our team members and customers. Thank you for making Blue Diamond a part of your life and Please note that our garden centres and restaurants remain open.”

Wildlife World we will be launching a #wildlifeforwellbeing competition

Wildlife World tells retailers, ‘Our websites, and social media channels will become even more active as a source of support, inspiration and news for you and all our customers, and we will be launching our #wildlifeforwellbeing competition shortly to encourage all our customers to share what they are seeing in their gardens; we hope you will join in too?’

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