The Share a Smile campaign is the initiative of South West based firm PKF Francis Clark. Tom Roach, a Leisure and Tourism partner there explains the background behind why the campaign has been created.
Being a firm with eight offices across the South West, we have long standing relationships with businesses throughout the region and we aim to provide help and support for businesses across the area.
It is therefore unsurprising that our client base includes many leisure and tourism based businesses which make up a major proportion of the local economy. Many more of our clients derive a large proportion of their income from these front line tourism based businesses. Indeed, for most tourism based businesses, about 40% of their income is spent on wages with another 40% being spent with local suppliers, whether they be in the food and drink industries, the building trade, or marketing and professional support.
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected all businesses in 2020 but probably felt most keenly by those in the leisure and tourism sector, as most businesses experienced complete lock down from late March through to the start of July, with then the need to gear up immediately for a busy summer season, and all the uncertainty that Covid brought.
Although we have seen strong numbers for August and September and are hopeful that this can continue into the autumn, in most cases this truncated season can’t account for the lost months earlier in the year.
We want to do all we can to show our support – and we mean, really help – not just our clients but all businesses within this sector, with our Share a Smile campaign.
What is the Share a Smile campaign?
We are asking people to (when safe to do so) visit their local businesses and then to share their smiles using social media to help spread the word – both of the business itself and the campaign. The more people that engage, the better!
Simply take a photo at your favourite business or location and post a photo on Instagram, twitter or facebook using the hashtag #ShareaSmileSW and tagging the business. After all, when you receive a smile, it always helps.
Why are we doing this?
There have been a number of very welcome initiatives from the Government to support businesses, often being brought in at very short notice, with some impressive turn arounds. As a firm we have had some success in lobbying for support as well as using our marketing team and technical tax teams together to get information out to local businesses to help them understand the help available. We have been successful in supporting businesses dealing with the administration required and in ensuring they maximise the support available.
As well as continuing with this, we feel now as we enter late autumn, it is a good time to also direct our support in a slightly different way. We are a firm with offices throughout the South West with over 700 staff.
We are therefore looking to use our team resources, together with some investment in external help, to start this new campaign which should be fun for our staff and businesses alike.
Some key factors
- Cash coming into the tourism sector tends to stay within the local economy for longer – so it’s supporting the region’s economy as a whole
- In a recent survey, 68% of respondents feel that the leisure and tourism industry is important to the economy and 76% think that a campaign to support these businesses is a good idea
- It’s not just the leisure and tourism businesses themselves, it’s also their suppliers – so the local food and drink supplier, the repair man and the PR and marketing professionals (and the list goes on)
- A lot of these businesses don’t have big marketing teams to help them so let us help gain momentum using this campaign
- We are living in unprecedented times and we need to work together
If you’re a business and want to get involved, simply go to our website and sign up to the campaign.