Coronavirus - information for businesses

COVID-19 Protection Levels - Argyll and Bute is at Level 2


Guidance on re-opening of shops, indoor hospitality and food businesses >

Preparing for Phase 3 in Argyll and Bute - Guidance on reopening of non-essential retail shops, and outdoor seating areas for restaurants, cafes and licensed premises. 

Scottish Government Guidance for the tourism and hospitality sector:

Financial 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:

Support for businesses affected by temporary restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19

Scottish Government funding to assist businesses directly required by law to close or modify their operations:

The Scottish Government has announced funding to assist businesses directly required by law to close or modify their operations, administered by Argyll and Bute Council for businesses based or headquartered within Argyll and Bute.  

  • COVID-19 Strategic Framework Business Fund – This fund can support businesses directly impacted by restrictions or closures specified for the levels of protection within Scotland’s Strategic Framework in place from 2 November.
  • COVID-19 Contingency Fund – In the first phase of this new fund, nightclubs and soft play centres that have been closed by law since March are to benefit from targeted funding. One-off grants of up to £50,000 will be available to businesses in both sectors. Grants will be based on rateable value. As there are specific qualifying criteria, we will automatically contact any eligible businesses direct with an application form, asking them to apply. However if you have a specific enquiry about the fund please contact and we will try our best to help you. Further information on the COVID-19 Contingency Fund is available on the Scottish Government website
  • Funding announced by the First Minister 17/11/20 - This includes establishing a £30 million discretionary fund to enable local authorities to provide additional support and £15 million for newly self-employed people who have not been able to access other forms of support. Please do not contact the Council about these funds yet as no further details are available.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), or furlough scheme, was due to end on 31 October 2020 and be superseded by the new Job Support Scheme (JSS) from 1 November 2020. However, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has now been extended to 31 March 2021 with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked.

Find out if you’re eligible and how much you can claim to cover wages for employees on furlough due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Coronavirus Job Retention Bonus

The Job Retention Bonus from the UK Government is intended to provide additional support to employers who keep on furloughed employees in employment after the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends, but it will no longer be paid in February 2021, as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until the end of March 2021. Further details about the extension are available on the website.

The Public Transport Retrofit Fund

The Public Transport Retrofit Fund is a new fund aimed at supporting public and community transport operators during COVID-19 is now open to applications. This includes taxi and private hire operators, community transport and bus/coach operators.

Coronavirus Job Support Scheme

The Job Support Scheme, which was due to start on 1 November 2020, has been postponed as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is being extended until 31 March 2021.

Further information about the Job Support Scheme is available on the website

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

Applications for the first and second grant via HMRC are now closed. The scheme has been extended from November 2020 to April 2021. To be eligible for the Grant Extension self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships, must:

  • have been previously eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme first and second grant (although they do not have to have claimed the previous grants)
  • declare that they intend to continue to trade and either:
    • are currently actively trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus
    • were previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus

The first grant will cover a three-month period from 1 November 2020 until 31 January 2021. The Government will provide a taxable grant covering 40% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £3,750 in total. HMRC will provide full details about claiming in due course.

Find out more about the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension here

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

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

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

If you're an employer, find out if you can use the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to claim back employees' coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). The refund can cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19

If you cannot pay your tax bill on time because of coronavirus (COVID-19)

Contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as soon as possible if you have missed a payment. Because of coronavirus you may be able to delay (defer) your Self Assessment payment on account due in July 2020 until 31 January 2021. Contact the HMRC coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline if you cannot pay any other tax bills because of coronavirus.

Support for Private Landlords

The Scottish Government short-term emergency loan scheme can provide an interest-free loan is available to landlords who have five or fewer rental properties and will fund lost rental income from a single property. It is designed to take the pressure off landlords, in the short-term, if their tenants are having difficulty making rent payments.

Business Gateway

Help and advice for your business is available from Business Gateway Argyll and Bute. You can talk to one of our experienced local business advisers, for free and in confidence.

If you are based in Argyll and Bute and looking for support to help your business start, survive or grow, we can assist. We can also provide information, guides, workshops, webinars, and signpost funding and useful contacts, tailored to your needs.

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

Contact the local team via 01546 604555 or

Closed Funds – no longer open for applications

The following Funds have now closed and new applications cannot be accepted.

  • The COVID-19 Closure Fund and the Business Hardship Fund (linked to the Brake Restrictions from 9 October to 2 November)
  • Business Support Fund Grants (Small Business Grant and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant)
  • Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund
  • Bed and Breakfast and Small Serviced Accommodation Provider Hardship Fund
  • Coronavirus Support Scheme for Self Catering Businesses
Please check back regularly for updates
page last updated: 04/11/20 12:21