← return to main Coronavirus menu

Advice for Businesses

Check the UK Government website “Support for Businesses” page for up to date Guidance on the support available.



Advice for Businesses – Updated 18.06.2020

The British Safety Council has produced detailed guidance to help organisations across all sectors return to work. They have produced a one page advice sheet which can be downloaded here. They have also produced a full "detailed general return to work guide across all sectors. The framework should enable organisations around the world to develop robust protocols and arrangements, designed to effectively manage the risk of transmission of COVID-19 as far as is reasonably possible within their workplace." This information is available here.
The UK Government Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has opened today. In order to make a claim for payment before 30 April, you will need to complete the process before Wednesday 22 April. See this page: https://kennymacaskillmp.scot/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-opens-today
Around £220 million of further grants are being made available for businesses - including the recently self-employed - to help them deal with the ongoing impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The new package of measures includes £120 million to extend the Small Business Grant scheme to ensure that, in addition to a 100% grant on the first property, small business rate payers will be eligible to a 75% grant on all subsequent properties. A further £100 million fund is also being made available to protect self-employed people and viable micro and SME businesses in distress due to COVID. This fund will be channelled through local authorities and enterprise agencies to target newly self-employed people and businesses who are ineligible for other Scottish Government or UK Government schemes. Applications for the £100 million fund will be open by the end of the month, and the new arrangements for the Small Business Grant will be in place to receive applications on 5 May. More information at the Scottish Government website: https://news.gov.scot/news/additional-support-for-business
This dedicated site has been set up by the Scottish Government with advice for businesses: https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/coronavirus-advice
The Scottish Government have announced the following measures:
  • 1-year rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure properties beginning in April.
  • NDR relief of 1.6% all properties across Scotland, from April.
You can find information on these measures, as well as eligibility information at the Scottish Government website: https://www.mygov.scot/non-domestic-rates-coronavirus/

From the East Lothian Investments website:

"ELI has implemented a business interruption loan which replaces the previous interest free loan offering.

"Loans can be applied for to a maximum of £5,000, interest free with a holiday repayment period of 4  months. There is a 5% arrangement fee to be paid up front and the loan will have a term of 24 months after the holiday period has ended.  It is open to existing businesses only that have been trading for more than 2 years and have employees. 

"It is intended that turnaround decisions on loans will be within 7 days and with successful applications funds can be paid within 24 hours, provided the arrangement fee is paid, contract signed and any caveats or other legal requirements are fulfilled.

"All applications and paperwork will be done via e-mail and arrangement fee and loan award will be paid by bank transfer."

You can find more information and the application form here: https://www.eastlothianinvestments.com/

The Scottish Government has been working closely with local government to deliver the business support grants which are available to small business ratepayers and to eligible properties in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. These grants are being administered on our behalf by local authorities using the non-domestic rates valuation roll, and guidance for local authorities was issued this week and is published here. Businesses in East Lothian can find the application form here (scroll to "Applying for a grant and getting paid") Councils have committed to make payments within 10 days. 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 or Disabled Relief but are eligible for the Small Business Bonus Scheme. Source: https://www.mygov.scot/non-domestic-rates-coronavirus/
From mygov.scot: An additional £350 million will go to those most affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell has announced. The funding will be made available to councils, charities, businesses and community groups and designed to be flexible, cutting down on red tape to enable them to respond swiftly and according to local need for people impacted economically or through reduced contact with society, including anyone struggling to access food. More information available at the Scottish Government website: https://www.gov.scot/news/helping-communities-affected-by-covid-19/
From East Lothian Council's website: Point of contact email address: economicdevelopment@eastlothian.gov.uk East Lothian Council has now put in place a number of arrangements to support businesses during this challenging time, with details set out below:
  • East Lothian Council services are working to engage proactively with our core critical providers with the key aim to protect, retain and support critical service provisions both during and once recovery phase of COVID-19 is implemented.
  • East Lothian Council is also working proactively with our core partners such as enjoyleisure to identify options to ensure contractual commitments can continue to be met within these organisations and support on-going resilience and sustainability of these core provisions for East Lothian community.
  • The Council will work ensure payments are made to suppliers as quickly as practically possible.
  • The Council will not pursue any new recovery actions relating to outstanding debt during this current period.
  • Flexibility will be provided to any commercial property where East Lothian Council is the landlord to offer payment holidays of up to 6 months with the option of repaying the rent in full over a maximum of 18 month period. Requests for business to receive a payment holiday must be made directly to the council
  • East Lothian Investments are promoting a new Business Interruption Loan which is available to existing businesses that have been trading for 2 years.  More details can be found online from the East Lothian Investments Ltd site.
Read more at ELC's website here: https://www.eastlothian.gov.uk/info/210574/emergencies_safety_and_crime/12488/coronavirus/5
Scottish Enterprise helpline: 0300 303 0660. Opening hours are Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 5:30pm
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 disruptions to their cashflow. Apply here: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/accredited-lenders/ Detailed Guidance from UK Finance Ltd here: https://www.ukfinance.org.uk/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme
The facility is designed to support liquidity among larger firms, helping them to bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through the purchase of short-term debt in the form of commercial paper. This webpage from the Bank of England sets out the practical steps that your firm needs to take in order to access the CCFF, as well as other frequently asked questions.
On 26 March the UK Government announced a package of support for the self employed: You can apply if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you:
  • have submitted your Income Tax Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19
  • traded in the tax year 2019-20
  • are trading when you apply, or would be except for COVID-19
  • intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21
  • have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19
Your self-employed trading profits must also be less than £50,000 and more than half of your income come from self-employment. More information is available at the UK Government website here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme