I am aware that many people have concerns regarding business and economic support in relation to Covid-19.
I will continue to update you all with the latest Scottish Conservative response here.
Please also scroll down for useful links to Government resources which offer advise and support.
I am also sending out weekly information packs which include all of the financial support available to those who have been affected by covid-19. Please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support for Businesses:
For the first time in history, the UK government is going to step in and help pay people’s wages – paying grants to employers to support as many jobs as necessary. Through this scheme, the Government will provide grants to employers who retain their staff, covering 80 per cent of salaries up to a total of £2,500 a month. And now, eligibility has been extended to include employees who were on the payroll on 19 March or earlier.
The scheme has been extended by the UK Government until the end of October. There will be no changes to the scheme until the end of July. But from the start of August there will be flexibility for employers to return people to work part time.
More information on the scheme and how to apply is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-up-and-running.
Your business may be entitled to reclaim the costs of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for sickness absence. This refund will cover up to two weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who are either ill or been told to self-isolate because of COVID-19. The new online service to reclaim SSP will be available from 26 May. Further information is available here.
There are numerous grants available to support businesses during this difficult time. You should now be able to apply for reliefs and grants via your local authority. Further information is available at https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/coronavirus-advice.
You may be eligible for a grant of up to £25,000 if your business is in the hospitality, leisure and retail sector and occupies a property with a rateable value of between £18,001 and £51,000.
You may be eligible for a grant of up to £10,000 if your business is eligible for the Small Business Bonus Scheme or Rural Rate Relief.
If you are a small or medium sized business in the housebuilding sector, you may be eligible for a short-term loan of up to £1 million. Applications are now open, and further information on eligibility can be found here https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-liquidity-support-sme-housebuilders/.
The UK Government has launched a £500 million Future Fund to support the most innovative businesses in the country. You may be able to access grants or loans to ensure your company can continue during the crisis. Further information is available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/future-fund.
Advice and further guidance on Scottish and UK Government support can be found at https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/coronavirus-advice. Any unanswered questions can be raised with the Scottish Government via email on BESTCovidHub@gov.scot or on Scottish Government’s new business helpline number 0300 303 0660.
Businesses, third sector or voluntary organisations who wish to offer support should email the Scottish Government at email@example.com with details such as your organisation’s key contact and their role, what you are offering and how it might be best applied, how quickly your support could be available and whether you are offering this as a donation or a chargeable service.
If you wish to report a business behaving unfairly, unfair business practices can be reported to the Competitions and Markets Authority at https://www.coronavirus-business-complaint.service.gov.uk/.
Support for the Self-Employed:
The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme is now open, to make sure people who work for themselves get the financial support that they need. You can apply using the simple form online at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-self-employment-income-support-scheme. You can check if you are eligible here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme.
Applications are open for the Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund for those who are ineligible for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme. If you are newly self-employed you will be able to claim up to £2,000. Please visit https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/business/business-covid-19/self-employed-hardship-fund-covid-19/?fbclid=IwAR2N2tZzNlWoaGde3vS62EEpKa6eEKPD0R2D9A2xMSLP9p1e65sBlGP77Vs.
The Scottish Conservatives are committed to helping people and businesses through the difficult period ahead, and we will continue to urge both of Scotland’s governments to do all they can in that regard.
Find business support in Scotland:
There is a specific Coronavirus (COVID-19) business continuity page available at: https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/coronavirus-advice/ – this should be the first place businesses should look for assistance and is part of a joint response by Scotland’s Enterprise and Skills system (Agencies, Local Authorities, Scottish Government and business/industry organisations).
Scottish Government Helpline:
Helpline to handle urgent issues and more detailed questions that can’t be answered on the FBS site:
Help for business owners and their to employees find information on how to deal with concerns about Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the workplace:
Scottish Government workplace advice in non-healthcare settings:
Workplace advice in non-healthcare settings, including tips that apply to people working in hotels and hospitality, leisure facilities, entertainment venues and premises used by community groups.
UK Government Guidance for Employees:
UK Government Guidance for Employers (and businesses):
House of Commons blog on employment rights:
Citizens Advice Scotland:
Advice for self-employed people: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/scotland/health/coronavirus-what-it-means-for-you/
Seafish are providing Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates for the seafood industry:
Farmers Guardian are covering Coronavirus (COVID-19 impacts on UK agriculture:
British Retail Consortium:
The BRC have produced a ‘Coronovirus Hub’ to provide operational guidance on issues like HR, competition law and cash flow: