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COVID-19 financial assistance for businesses and communities

Financial assistance available to businesses and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Financial support for businesses and communities

The UK and Scottish Government are putting financial measures in place to help support businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. We'll add information and routes to apply here, as and when it becomes available to us. 

Help with non-domestic rates in Scotland during coronavirus (COVID-19)

To help owners of non-domestic properties, including businesses, deal with the impact of COVID-19, the Scottish Government has made changes to non-domestic rates (business rates) for 2020-21.

The Scottish Government has introduced extra rates reliefs (discounts). It has also introduced a one-off grant for some businesses.

These reliefs will be available to non-domestic properties from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021.

It will be possible to apply for the grants until 31 March 2021.

Visit mygov.scot

Businesses in Scotland can apply to the Business Support Fund for a grant to help them deal with the impact of the outbreak.

Business can also use the business support website to find out what support is available.

Rural Rate Relief

You can get 100% off your non-domestic rates if your property is in a designated rural area with a population below 3,000 and it is:

  • a small food shop, general store or post office with a rateable value below £8,500
  • a small hotel, public house or petrol filling station with a rateable value of up to £12,750
  • any other business providing a benefit to the community with a rateable value of up to £17,000

Contact your local council to find out if you're in a designated rural area and if you're eligible for this relief. Your local council website will have the application form. 

Grants - retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value between £18,001 and up to and including £50,999 will be able to apply for a one-off grant of £25,000.

A one-off grant of £10,000 will also be available to small businesses who get:

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.

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

Self-catering premises are not eligible for the grant funding.

Applying for a grant and getting paid

To apply, you'll need to complete an application form. You can find this form on your local council website.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is now available through participating lenders

CBILS is a new scheme that can provide facilities of up to £5m for smaller businesses across the UK who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruptions to their cashflow.

CBILS supports a wide range of business finance products, including term loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance. The scheme provides the lender with a government-backed guarantee potentially enabling a ‘no’ credit decision from a lender to become a ‘yes’. The borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt.

Find out more

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.

Eligibility

All UK businesses are eligible.

How to access the scheme

You will need to:

  • designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify your employees of this change - changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation
  • submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required)

HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.

If your business needs short term cash flow support, you may be eligible for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan.

 

Financial support for communities and the third sector

The Scottish Government and partner agencies are pulling together support packages for community and third sector organisations. Here's what we know so far:

£20M THIRD SECTOR RESILIENCE FUND

The Scottish Government has allocation £20m towards a third sector resilience fund. It has been set up to help third sector organisations affected by cash flow and other problems as an impact of COVID-19. 

WHO CAN ACCESS THIS SUPPORT? 

The fund will support registered charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises that already deliver vital services in communities but find themselves in financial difficulties as a direct result of the Coronavirus pandemic. The primary aim of this fund is to help these organisations to stabilise and manage cashflows over this difficult period.

WHO WILL DELIVER THE FUND?

The Fund will be delivered by Firstport, Social Investment Scotland and the Corra Foundation. Grants of between £5,000-£100,000 can be awarded. In addition there will be up to a further £5m available in fully flexible, 0% interest loans starting at £50,000.

ELIGIBILITY 

To be eligible, interested organisations must be:

  • a charity, social enterprise or voluntary organisation based in Scotland and/or primarily delivering services/activities in Scottish communities;
  • already delivering those products or services prior to March 2020;
  • and needing funding to stabilise cashflows directly as a result of the impact of COVID-19, as opposed to pre-existing financial difficulties.

Applications for the Third Sector Resilience Fund are now open. Interested applicants are encouraged to read the fund’s Guidance Notes and FAQs prior to starting an application.

Visit the SCVO Hub to apply

Keep up to date

Use the Find Business Support portal to keep up to date with all of the financial packages and support available for both businesses and third sector organisations.

www.findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/coronavirus-advice

Coronavirus Third Sector Information Hub

The SCVO website is also regularly updated with official information for charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations.

www.scvo.org.uk/support/coronavirus
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