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CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 ADVICE

As the Coronavirus (Covid-19) situation develops, Stirling Council in collaboration with our partners: STEP, Business Gateway, Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce, The Federation of Small Businesses, Go Forth Stirling, VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise we are working hard on developing a package of measures designed to safeguard as many of Stirling’s businesses as possible as the Covid-19 crisis continues.

 As a first vital step, partners have agreed to use this page as a single source of information, advice and support for Stirling’s businesses.

 This page will provide you with new and existing sources of information and financial supports from a variety of sources. A range of new supports and mitigations have been announced by Scottish & UK Governments, we are working closely with the relevant agencies to develop the mechanisms for delivering these supports to businesses. As these mechanisms are developed we will publish guidance on this page and Twiiter @InvestStirling. You can also email InvestInStirling@stirling.gov.uk  or call 01786 498496 for assistance from our team of business advisers. 

  

 

 

 

 

Guidance and Support for businesses

 

Bed and Breakfast Hardship Fund

The fund will close at 5pm on 10th July 2020. Further information can be found here.  

The application has now opened for the Bed and Breakfast Hardship Fund. This fund is to provide hardship relief to Bed & Breakfast and other Small Serviced Accommodation businesses who don't have a business bank account and have not been able to access support through other schemes. Successful applicants will receive a one-off payment of £3,000. To check the eligibility requirements and access the application form click here

 

 Self-employed Hardship Fund

This £34 million fund will be allocated to the newly self-employed who are ineligible for UK support (as they became self-employed since April 2019) but are facing hardship. Grants are £2,000 and are being processed by local councils. The Stirling fund can be accessed here.

 

 FUND EXTENSION| Coronavirus Business Support Fund Phase 3 

Deadline 10 July

From Monday 8th June more businesses will be eligible to apply for Business Support grants. The fund is now open to:

- Ratepayers that hold one or more properties in the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sector with a cumulative value of more than £51,000 - previously this was capped at  £51,000, however individual properties should not have a rateable value over £18,000

- Businesses that occupy premises such as shared office spaces, business incubators and shared industrial units where the landlord is the ratepayer. Previously, only businesses listed as the rate payer on the premises could apply. You must leave the space from a landlord who is the regustered ratepayer for the property.

To be eligible you must also:

*be a registered business or partnership

*have a lease signed before 17 March 2020

*employ at least one person

*have a business bank account

Further reading about the scheme is available here

To apply to the scheme click here

 

Businesses can apply for cash grants of £10,000 or £25,000 subject to fulfilling certain criteria:

  • £10,000 grant awarded to all small firms receiving the small business bonus or rural relief;
  • £25,000 grants for hospitality, leisure and retail properties with a rateable value between £18,000 and £51,000.

Scheme now extended 5th May - new measures are now available for businesses to help them deal with the ongoing impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Phase 2 extends the Business Support Grant as follows:

  • In addition to a 100% grant on the first property, eligible business rate payers will now be eligible for a 75% grant on all subsequent properties;
  •  Businesses in the retail, hospitality or leisure sectors, with a cumulative rateable value between £35,001 and £51,000, will now be able to apply for a grant for their individual properties which do not exceed a Rateable value of £18,000.
  • Sports Relief is now included as a qualifying benefit.

Businesses should note that one application form is required to be completed for each eligible property.

To apply please complete the online form here.

The Scottish Government has provided updated guidance to Councils, including a list of business types that do or do not qualify for those grants. To read the guidance and check the list click here

Please note that we will prioritise getting payments to businesses as quickly as possible, with the target that all eligible businesses will be paid within 10 days of receipt of application. Therefore, we will not make contact with you unless we need to discuss your application further. All successful grant applications will simply be paid into your nominated bank account. 

 

Bounce Back Loans| Open for Applications

A 100% government backed loan scheme for small businesses. The new "Bounce Back Loan" scheme is now open for applications. Business can borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and have access to the cash within days. During the first 12 months on the loan term, no interest or repayments will be payable by the business. 

For more information and how to apply, click here. 

 

 HMRC Job Retention (Furlough) Portal Extended

Employers who have furloughed staff can now apply to HMRC for 80% of employee wages. The portal, along with instructions for application, can be found here. The scheme has been extended until the end of October 2020.

 

THIRD SECTOR RESILIENCE FUND 

 The Third Sector Resilience Fund (TSRF) is part of a £350m support package for the sector as a response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

TSRF is specifically targeted at charities, voluntary organisations, social enterprises and other third sector organisations that are based in Scotland and/or primarily delivering services/activities in Scottish communities, but that find themselves in financial difficulties directly as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. The funding’s primary intention is to help these organisations to stabilise and manage cashflow over this difficult period.

TSRF provides grants between £5,000 and £100,000. In addition, there is up to a further £5m available in fully flexible, 0% interest loans starting at £50,000.

  • (Grants) Up to £25,000 will be supported by Corra Foundation
  • (Grants) £25,000 – £100,000 will be supported by Firstport
  • (Loans) £50,000 and above will be supported by Social Investment Scotland

 For more information and how to apply, click here

 

Self-employed Income Support Scheme 

The Chancellor has announced plans to support the self-employed. This consists of 80% of your profits up to maximum of £2,500 per month and will be calculated based on your previous three years’ tax returns. These payments are unlikely to be processed until June. In the meantime, any self-employed workers who have not already done so are being encouraged to submit this year’s tax return within the next 4 weeks and can access existing supports such as Universal Credit and business continuity loans.

You can read the full announcement here.

 

Creative Scotland Open Fund | Open

Launched in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic to help sustain the arts sector through this crisis. The Open Fund is for individuals and organisations in the creative industries, with grants from £1,000 to £50,000. The total fund value is £7.5million and is open for the next 12 months. For more information and how to apply click here. 

 

A separate Bridging Bursary fund has paused taking applications due to the volume received. This fund is due to re-open on 20th April and we will include a reminder in the weekly updated closer to the time. To read about the bursary scheme visit Creative Scotland's website here.

 

Business Support Summary

We have collated the range of business supports available into one document to help you find the right help for you. We will update this guide on a regular basis. You can access the document here: Covid-19 Business Support Summary.pdf

 

Reopening Your Business During the Coronavirus Pandemic

As businesses are planning to reopen as part of phase two and three of the route map to recovery, Stirling Council has created a document with measures to help support  the safe reopening of hospitality venues. The measures are for consideration by Food Business Operators (FBO) when they are re-opening a business that has been closed due to Coronavirus Restrictions. You can access the document here: SC Final Food business advice - reopening during Covid-19 restrictions.pdf

 

HelpLine | 01786 498496 | investinstirling@stirling.gov.uk

A dedicated helpline and email enquiry service is in the process of being established. Experienced business advisers will be on hand to help you access vital support. 

 

Jobs Portal

We have created a page for employers urgently seeking to recruit to help with growing demands in key sectors. For information and to submit a post, click here.

 

Skills Development Scotland | Support available

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) have issued reassurance that they are continuing to support individuals, employers, local services and partners through the effects of this crisis and have issued the following update:

  • SDS is continuing to provide career information, advice and guidance for all people.
  • we are working with the Scottish Government and other partners to ensure our PACE (Partnership Action for Continuing Employment) service offer is responsive to the emerging situation with updates posted to SDS’s website.
  • we are already working with individual learners and apprentices, employers, learning providers and awarding bodies to support them and ensure that the effects of disruption are minimised and wherever possible, that they and are not negatively impacted in the longer term.

Please be aware that anyone looking for our support can do so online or via phone:

Please refer toSkills Development Scotland’s website where we will be posting regular updates on our services during this time.

For matters relating to the Stirling area, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me (grant.mcdougall@sds.co.uk) or Val Ormiston, SDS Area Manager for Stirling Council, if you would like to discuss the above information or any other related matter today, or in the days and weeks to come.

 

Business Rates Relief 

The Scottish Government announced new measures to limit the impact of COVID-19 during Financial Year 2020/21. As soon as further details are provided, we will ensure that relevant information is made available.

 

£2.2billion package of support for businesses | New measures to limit the impact of COVID-19 on the business community in Scotland have been announced by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes. Steps will be put in place to support businesses during the 2020-21 financial year.

 

UK Government support package | The UK Government has announced a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. This includes Government backed loans, grant funding, statutory sick pay relief and HMRC Time To Pay Scheme.

 

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) | CBILS is a new scheme, announced by The Chancellor at Budget 2020, that can provide facilities of up to £5m for smaller businesses across the UK who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruption to their cashflow. The scheme is now open to apply. 

 

Business Gateway Virtual and Business Support | are delivering virtual advisory and workshop services. Their advisers can offer free support with a wide range of business matters including continuity planning, managing cashflow and dealing with suppliers.

 

 

Practical advice for managing Covid-19 virus

 

Health Protection Scotland | has information on guidance, data and surveillance, publications and incident and outbreaks.

It has also added new guidance on coronavirus that includes workplace advice such as hotels and hospitality settings where a guest may need to self-isolate in a hotel or holiday accommodationRead the guidance.

 

NHS inform | has information on the virus itself, common questions related to health, self-isolation advice for people without symptoms and information for professionals.

 

NHS Covid-19 communication toolkit - contains a poster, video and social media posts for organisations to print and share.

 

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