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investinstirling@stirling.gov.uk

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 Twitter @InvestStirling. You can also email InvestInStirling@stirling.gov.uk  or call 01786 498496 for assistance from our team of business advisers at Business Gateway.

Please note - when you call this number you will hear a short recorded message then your call will be put through to a business adviser. If lines are busy you will be invited to leave a message for and adviser to call you back.

Please note that all open funds can be found below. To avoid slowing down grant processing please do not call to enquire about any funds not currently listed.

 

 

 

 

Guidance and Support for businesses

 

COVID-19 FUNDING JANUARY 2021

A suite of new funds have been announced recently and we will update this page with full information on how to apply as and when each fund goes live. Businesses across Scotland will benefit from a new £185 million package of COVID-19 support. You can read the full announcement on the Scottish Government website

 

NEW | Taxi and Private Hire Driver Support Fund

The purpose of this fund is to provide a one-off grant payment of £1,500 to licensed taxi or private hire car drivers. To be eligible you must meet all the criteria detailed in the application form. You can access the application form on the Stirling Council website.

 

NEW | Discretionary Business Support Fund 

This funding will provide direct financial support to businesses in the Stirling Council area, specifically to mitigate immediate financial challenges arising from the COVID-19 restrictions and regulations announced in October 2020.  It is a one off payment of £2,000 and is aimed at small and micro-businesses (50 employees or fewer) which have been unable to access other funding and support since October 2020; and which are therefore experiencing hardship. Full criteria and application details are available on the Stirling Council website. Applications should be submitted by 5pm on 10 February 2021.

 

NEW | The Sector Destination Operational & Market Readiness Fund

The £1.2 million fund has been established to specifically support established Scottish Tourism Sector Groups and Destination Organisations that are facing funding challenges. Applicants can apply for awards from £10,000 - £50,000. You can apply for this fund on the Visit Scotland website by Tuesday 26 January.

 

 Fund | Touring Fund for Theatre and Dance Closes 5 Feb 2021

The Touring Fund for outdoor and non-conventionally staged work is specifically designed to respond to the limitations in place with the dance, theatre and touring landscape, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and associated restrictions. Full criteria and application for can be found on the Creative Scotland website.

 

Fund | Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund

 A total of £2.75 million is available for eligible events planned to take place before the end of 2021. There are two routes to funding available:

Community Events, and Events with existing EventScotland funding offers and

Events Supporting the Visitor Economy (e.g. regional and Scottish domestic tourism)

To apply head over to the Visit Scotland website.

 

 Fund | Coronavirus Covid-19 Strategic Framework Business Fund

The fund has been created by the Scottish Government to provide financial support for businesses impacted by the protective measures in place across Scotland.

Please note, these are four week payments and any grant awarded will be paid in arrears due to any potential changes in restriction level. 

Access the full eligibility criteria and application form here.

Please be advised that businesses who have previously applied for Strategic Framework Business Fund - Closure Grants do NOT need to reapply. If businesses were previously successful with an application then payments will restart automatically.

 

 Fund | NHS Forth Valley COVID Response Community Grants 

Applications will be considered from organisations across Forth Valley which support and connect communities to respond to COVID-19. Grants of up to £500 are available. Find out more on the NHS Forth Valley website.

 

Fund | Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers

This fund aims to address the current financial hardship  felt by creative freelancers who normally work in the culture sector but whose work has been impacted by COVID-19. Details can be found on the Creative Scotland website.

 

 Fund | Community and Third Sector Recovery Programme

The programme aims to support charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations that are supporting people and communities through the shift from lockdown to recovery. The programme has two strands: Adapt & Thrive Programme and Communities Recovery Fund. Details and application form available SCVO.SCOT

 

 Fund | 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 head over to the Creative Scotland website. 

 

Fund | Support Adoption For Pets Grant Programme

To support charities and not-for-profit organisations whose main activity is either: 

the rescue and rehoming of UK pets 

the provision of temporary support to ensure pets can remain with their owners

Funding is available through the Support Adoption for Pets website.

 

Business Loan | Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)  CBILS is a 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. 

 

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 head over to GOV.UK.

 

Wages | Furlough Support Grant

The Scottish Government Furlough Support Grant provides businesses with grants of £1,650 to help meet the cost of re-furloughing staff by supporting the 20% employer's contribution that they are required to pay under the current UK Government Job Retention Scheme.

This fund is open to businesses, trading up to 9 October 2020 and had to close under the Coronavirus (COVID-19) brake restrictions for licensed premises (retailers and businesses that provide takeaway food as the core of their business are not eligible for this grant) and covers the period from 9 October to 31 October 2020.

Businesses who have already applied for the Coronavirus Restrictions (Closure) Fund will be contacted directly by to check if they are eligible for furlough support and there is no need to reapply.

An award of £1650 will be made for each of the business premises where at least one employee is furloughed.

If you did not receive the Coronavirus Restrictions (Closure) Fund and feel you may be eligible for this fund please email csdocs@stirling.gov.uk or 01786 233175 for an application form and full eligibility criteria.

 

Wages | 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 April 2021.

 

Wages | 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 on GOV.UK.

 

Wages | Statutory Sick Pay

If you are an employer, find our if you can use the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to claim back employees' coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). More information is available on GOV.UK.

 

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 

 

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 head over to our Job Portal.

 

Tourism & Hospitality Restrictions and Guidance

New measures introduced from Friday 9th October at 6pm place restrictions on licensed premises and hospitality businesses. The Scottish Government has advised that a new business support scheme will be launched to help with the impacts of closures and loss of trade. As soon as this scheme is published we will update this page. For more information on the latest restrictions to tourism and hospitality businesses, visit the Scottish Government's advice and information page which includes a Q&A section.

 

Scotland Loves Local

The campaign is a national initiative which aims to encourage Scots to shop and eat local and to rediscover what is on their doorsteps. Think local and support the shops and restaurants in Scotland in line with the public health guidelines. You can find more about the campaign on Love Local.

 

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

 

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.

 

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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