Coronavirus - information for businesses



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


 Due to the COVID-19 outbreak all non-essential businesses must close.  Read guidance on this, including whichpremises are permitted to remain open.  Businesses permitted to remain open must follow the Government’s social distancing advice

The Scottish Government is advising all business premises, sites and attractions to close unless:

  • essential to the health and welfare of the country during this crisis; or
  • supporting (or being repurposed to support) essential services; or
  • capable of working in a way which is fully consistent with established social distancing advice; or
  • wider public health, health and safety or other considerations apply and require a facility or service to continue to operate  or a specific period of time for a safe shutdown process to be completed.

Check the latest advice and information for your business at and

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

Download an infographic outlining the help available

Support for businesses

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. A summary of this support is outlined below:

Type of support

Outline of what is available

How to find out more

Business Support Fund

Two types of grant are available to non domestic ratepayers:

• 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

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

The £10,000 grant is available to eligible small businesses in receipt of either Small Business Bonus Scheme relief or Rural Relief.  You can also get this grant if you applied for Nursery Relief, Business Growth Accelerator Relief or Disabled Relief but are eligible for the Small Business Bonus Scheme

The eligibility criteria are stated on the application form. The form is updated for the new guidance opening up support to self-catering lets and caravans in certain circumstances

Apply online for a Business Support Fund Grant

Download the application form (Microsoft Word

Download the application form (PDF)

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.

You can only apply for one grant – even if you own multiple properties

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 for at least three months starting from 1 March 2020. Employers can use the scheme anytime during this period.

Employers can claim for 80% of furloughed employees’ (employees on a leave of absence) usual monthly wage 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 scheme is open to all UK employers that had created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on 28 February 2020.

The online service you’ll use to claim is not available yet. It is expected to be available by the end of April 2020.

Job Retention Scheme guidance


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.

You cannot apply for this scheme yet. HMRC will contact you if you are eligible for the scheme and invite you to apply online.

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 or a business interruption loan.

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.


self-employment-income-support-scheme guidance



Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

A new temporary loan scheme delivered by the British Business Bank is available to support SME and those in self-employment to access bank lending and overdrafts.

The Scheme can support loans of up to £5 million in value and is interest free for 12 months.

To be eligible your business must:

  • be UK based, with turnover of no more than £45 million per year; and
  • have a borrowing proposal which, were it not for the current pandemic, would be considered viable by the lender, and for which the lender believes the provision of finance will enable the business to trade out of any short-to-medium term difficulty

All the major banks offer the Scheme. There are 40 accredited providers in all.

The full rules of the Scheme and the list of accredited lenders is available on the British Business Bank website

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.


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.



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
  • 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.


how to defer your VAT payment


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.




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.

Contact the local team via 01546 604555 or




Please check back regularly for updates
page last updated: 01/4/20 14:45