Coronavirus - information for businesses

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Coronavirus Caring for People Helpline Service

For help with Financial; Business; Health; Education; Registration; Social, Domestic and Medical Homecare Needs and volunteering.   Read more about this new service.

Contact us for help now

01546 605524   -  open 9am to 5pm, Mon-Fri

Please leave this line open for vulnerable people who may not be able to help themselves if you have other options.
There may be a number of active groups in your area that may be able to help you - you can find groups in your area here on our website

Protecting yourself and others – a short guide to staying safe and getting the support you need
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Due to the COVID-19 outbreak all non-essential businesses must follow national guidance and close. The guidance includes information on which premises can remain open.

Businesses permitted to stay open must, by law, follow social distancing rules. For more information on managing social distancing in the workplace, please see the Scottish Government website.

See our list of Frequently Asked Questions to help you assess whether you can remain open

There is specific guidance for food business operators and their employees from Food Standards Scotland

HSE (Health and Safety Executive) have launched a new 'Working Safely' enquiry service for all duty holders and members of the public to get help and advice about protecting workers against coronavirus in their workplaces. 

The new form and phone number are available on the HSE website.

Check the latest advice and information for your business at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus and www.gov.scot

Download an infographic outlining the help available

Support for businesses

You can use this business support finder to see what support is available for you and your business:

Business support finder

The UK and Scottish Governments have announced a package of support to assist businesses.  You can find out more at COVID-19 UK Govt Support for business and FindBusinessSupportScotland.

You can find details of the different types of support below:

Business Support Fund

There are two phases of support available under this fund

PHASE 1

Two types of grant are available to non domestic ratepayers under phase 1:

• a one-off £10,000 grant to ratepayers of small businesses

• a one-off grant of £25,000 available to retail, hospitality and leisure business ratepayers with a rateable value between £18,001 and £50,999

PHASE 2

Phase 2 expands the ways in which eligible businesses can access the SBGF and the RHLGF, under two main categories;

  • Ratepayers with multiple properties; Following the initial one-off grant awarded though either Fund, each additional property for which the applicant pays rates & which also meets the eligibility criteria will qualify for a grant equal to 75% of the one-off grant. For the SBFG the first qualifying property will be eligible for £10,000, and qualifying properties thereafter eligible for £7,500. For the RHLGF the sums will be £25,000 and £18,750 respectively.
  • Cumulative Rateable Value; ratepayers that hold one or more properties in the Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure sector whose rateable values do not exceed £18,000 and whose cumulative rateable value is between £35,001 and £51,000 will now be eligible for the SBGF for each of their qualifying Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure properties.

These grants are administered by Argyll and Bute Council in line with eligibility criteria set by the Scottish Government.

The eligibility criteria are stated on the application form.

Apply online for a Business Support Fund Grant

Please note that you must submit a scanned bank statement or image of the nominated online account, dated less than 3 months ago, with your application form.

The Council will strive to meet the target of processing all claims within 10 days of the receipt of all information to validate the claim.

THE DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS IS 31 MARCH 2021

For further information:

Further information on the Small Business Grant Scheme is available on the Scottish Government website

Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions before submitting your application

If you have any questions about applying for the grant contact the Council’s Coronavirus Caring for People Helpline Service on 01546 605524 and select option 2 (Business Related Help) followed by option 1 (Applying for the Business Support Grant).

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

This is a temporary scheme open to all UK employers which has now been extended for another four months from 1st March to 31st October 2020. Employers can use the scheme anytime during this period.

Crucially, employers can still claim for 80% of furloughed employees’ (employees on a leave of absence) usual monthly wages costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage.

The big change, as from August, is that workers will be able to return to their jobs part-time, with employers being asked to pay towards the salaries of their furloughed staff (no confirmed details of the required employer contribution).

The Scottish Government is in discussions with the UK Treasury about how the changes to this scheme will apply in Scotland, where Scottish companies are being urged not to call staff back to work early while the coronavirus lockdown remains in place.

The scheme is open to all UK employers that had created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 19th March 2020.

Guidance and how to claim

Coronavirus Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund

This fund can provide a one off grant of £2,000 for the newly self-employed who are facing hardship as a result of COVID-19 and who are not able to access other COVID-19 support.

Online applications for this fund opened on Thursday 30th April 2020

Apply online for Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) who have lost income due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed.

Check if you can claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme here

To be eligible you must:

  • have submitted an Income Tax Self-Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19
  • traded in the tax year 2019-20
  • are trading when you apply, or would be except for COVID-19
  • intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21
  • have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19
  • have self-employed trading profits of less than £50,000
  • have more than half of your income from self-employment

If you are not eligible for this support, or eligible but in need of immediate support, you may be eligible for other support including universal credit, a Bounce Back Loan, or a Business interruption loan.

If you became self employed on or after 6 April 2019 and are experiencing personal hardship you may be eligible for a Newly Self Employed Hardship grant

If you’re a director of your own company and paid through PAYE you may be able to get support using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Read the Self Employment Income Support Scheme guidance here

Creative, Tourism & Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund

This Fund is for small creative, tourism and hospitality companies that are experiencing hardship because they are ineligible for other COVID-19 Government grant support. The focus is to help companies manage cashflow commitment for the next three months, and those furloughing staff are still eligible to apply.

Grants of up to £25,000 can be accessed, in addition to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. However, those that have accessed other support will not be eligible. For example, if you already qualify for the Business Support Fund ‘s Retail Hospitality and Leisure Support Grant you would not be eligible.

Guidance and how to claim: https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/service/coronavirus/creative-or-tourism-and-hospitality-enterprises-hardship-fund

Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund

This is a bespoke, needs-based grant for Scottish SME firms that can demonstrate they are vulnerable but can present a strong business case for a viable future. Firms need to prove that they are vital to the local, regional or national economy. The fund is to support these companies with working capital to help them continue trading or to come out of hibernation when the time is right.

Guidance and how to claim: https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/service/coronavirus/pivotal-enterprise-resilience-fund

Bounce Back Loan Scheme

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) enables smaller businesses to access finance more quickly during the coronavirus outbreak. Small and medium-sized businesses can borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover. The maximum loan available is £50,000. There won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months and after that interest rate will be 2.5% a year.

Guidance and how to apply https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-coronavirus-bounce-back-loan

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) helps small and medium-sized businesses to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £5 million. You will need to show that your business would be viable were it not for the pandemic and that it has been adversely impacted by the coronavirus.

Guidance and how to apply https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-the-coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme

There are over 50 lenders participating in the scheme including all the main retail banks. You should approach a suitable lender yourself via the lender’s website. The lender will decide whether to offer you a loan or another type of finance and you’ll be responsible for repaying 100% of the amount borrowed. The government will pay the interest and any fees for the first 12 months.

Non domestic Rates relief

ALL non-domestic properties in Scotland will get a 1.6% rates relief. 

Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will get 100% rates relief. To get this relief, a property has to be occupied.

These reliefs will be available to non-domestic properties from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021.

You do not need to apply for these reliefs as they will be applied to your bill by the Council.

If you are struggling to pay your non-domestic rates bill you should contact the Council and ask about your payment options.

Further information on non-domestic rates relief is available on the Scottish Government website

Support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees

The Government will bring forward legislation to allow small-and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19.  This refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19.

A rebate scheme is being developed. Further details will be provided once the legislation has passed.

Further information on the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme is available on the Scottish Government website

Defer VAT payment

If you’re a UK VAT registered business and have a VAT payment due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, you have the option to:

  • defer the payment until a later date
  1. pay the VAT due as normal

If you’re in temporary financial distress because of COVID-19 more help is available from HMRC’s Time to Pay scheme.

Further information on the deferral of VAT payments due to COVID-19 is available on the gov.uk website

Defer Income tax for Self Employed

For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 may be deferred until 31 January 2021.

The deferment is optional. This is an automatic offer with no applications required. No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged if you defer payment until January 2021. You do not need to be self-employed to be eligible for the deferment

If you’re in temporary financial distress because of COVID-19 more help is available from HMRC’s Time to Pay scheme.

Further information on deferral of self-assessment payments due to COVID-19 is available on the gov.uk website

Business Gateway

Help and advice your business is available from Business Gateway.

You can talk to one of the local business advisers, free and in confidence.

Online guides, tutorials and further resources are available on the website - bgateway.com

Contact the local team via 01546 604555 or business.gateway@argyll-bute.gov.uk

https://www.facebook.com/bgargyllandbute/

This week is National Mental Health Awareness Week and below you will find a list of resources that Business Gateway has created to help business owners manage their own mental health and wellbeing and that of their staff.

Support for Private Landlords

The Scottish Government PRS Landlord (non-business) Covid-19 Loan Scheme is now available for applications https://news.gov.scot/news/aid-for-private-rental-landlords.  This is a short-term emergency interest free loan, available to landlords who have 5 or less rental properties and will fund lost rental income from a single property. Landlords should still, of course, engage with their tenants as detailed in the guidance https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-landlord-and-letting-agent-faqs/.

Further information on the loan, including the application form, can be found here:  https://covidlandlordloan.est.org.uk/

Enquiries can be sent to the Scottish Government at PRSLandlordCovid-19Loan@gov.scot

 

Please check back regularly for updates
page last updated: 13/05/20 11:15