COVID–19 Business Hub
LATEST UPDATE 12th May 2021
Please find available resources COVID-19 related information and support on this page.
If you can't find what you are looking for or have any queries, please do get in touch and we will do whatever we can to help.
This update from the Scottish Government directs businesses towards the most up to date information on COVID-19.
The Find Business Support website has details of support and guidance for businesses that have been affected by the pandemic.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - Deadline Extended
This scheme is designed to preserve jobs and reduce the number of workers made redundant due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. It has been extended until 30 September 2021.
If your business has closed or is struggling due to the pandemic, you can apply to furlough employees (put them on temporary leave) rather than make them redundant. Once furloughed, the UK Government will provide a grant to cover 80% of the wages of these employees up to a maximum of £2,500 a month until the end of June 2021.
Claims for furlough days in April 2021 must be made by 14 May 2021.
From 1 July 2021, the level of grant will be reduced and you will be asked to contribute towards the cost of your furloughed employees’ wages. To be eligible for the grant you must continue to pay your furloughed employees 80% of their wages, up to a cap of £2,500 per month for the time they spend on furlough.
You can continue to choose to top up your employees’ wages above the 80% total and £2,500 cap for the hours not worked at your own expense.
Check if you can claim for your employees wages HERE
SME Brexit Support Fund
The SME Brexit Support Fund is for small and medium sized businesses who are new to importing or exporting. It can help adjust to new customs, rules of origin and VAT rules when trading with the EU.
It could give you up to £2,000 to help with training or professional advice. Your business must have up to 500 employees and no more than £100 million annual turnover.
You can use the grant for training on:
- how to complete customs declarations
- how to manage customs processes and use customs software and systems
- specific import and export related aspects including VAT, excise and rules of origin
- It can also be used to help you get professional advice so your business can meet its customs, excise, import VAT or safety and security declaration requirements.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is administering the grants for HM Revenues and Customs (HMRC).
Applications will close on 30 June 2021 or earlier if all funding is allocated before this date.
Follow this link to see what grants are available - SME Grants Available — Customs Grant Scheme (customsintermediarygrant.co.uk)
Operate After Brexit - Trade and Customs 2021 - 22 Timeline
Sourced from Scottish Enterprise
It's vital for businesses to ensure they are up to date with changing rules and regulations surrounding their business operations. Key dates for companies to note in 2021 and 2022 are listed in our key dates timeline. More dates will be added as trade policy develops.
See full timeline HERE
Training Fund Helps People to Prepare for a New Career
People looking for jobs in Scotland’s growth sectors are being encouraged to access the National Transition Training Fund (NTTF) to gain the skills they need.
Launched in October 2020 to tackle the rise in unemployment caused by Covid-19, NTTF – administered by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) – helps people who are facing redundancy or recently unemployed prepare for a new career by offering short sharp training opportunities for in-demand skills.
If you are currently under threat of redundancy, or have been made redundant at any time from the 1 March 2020 and are aged 25 or over, you can access an industry recognised qualification to help you gain employment.
The National Transition Training Fund offers training in areas where growth is expected in the labour market, providing you with a strong footing for employment opportunities.
Find out if you're eligable and how to access training HERE
Scottish Shopper Footfall Perks Up as April sees Stores Open
Scottish shopper footfall decreased by 52.1% in April year-on-two-years (Yo2Y) as stores reopened after coronavirus restrictions were eased, according to the latest Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) Sensormatic IQ Footfall Monitor.
The change is a 14.2 percentage point increase from March and is below the UK average decline of 40.0% (Yo2Y).
Shopping Centre footfall declined by 59.0% in April (Yo2Y) in Scotland, up from -72.1% in March.
At the same time, footfall in Glasgow decreased by 51.8% (Yo2Y), a 16.4 percentage point improvement from March.
Commenting on the statistics, Dr Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:
“We have always known that it would take consumer demand and confidence time to recover, even after the wider re-opening of the economy. While ‘revenge shopping’ will inflate footfall statistics, the challenge is maintaining a steady level of demand and spend that allows our businesses to make up for the 13 months largely spent under lockdown. There are large holes to fill in the coffers.
“This is especially true for our small businesses that make up the backbone of the retail sector. While bigger chains have not been free of pain, it is the smaller retailers on our high streets who face the greatest challenge, especially in terms of cash flows. Many businesses like these also operate on or close to their profit margins and as such, are most impacted by the general costs of doing business.
“This also brings uncertainty on the employment front. The wholesale and retail sector are accounting for around 20% of all employments furloughed in Scotland. That means any setbacks for the sector in reopening, or depressed demand, could force many businesses to make tough decisions.
“To support the future of our high street retailers, the next Scottish Government must establish a High Street Recovery Programme that provides financial incentives and grants to micro and small businesses to support their recovery. In addition, offices underpin the viability of many sectors and that’s why the re-opening of offices in a phased approach must also pick up pace quickly.”
The UK economy will enjoy its strongest growth in more than 70 years in 2021 as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, according to the Bank of England.
The economy is expected to expand by 7.25% this year, with extra government cash for workers and businesses helping to limit job losses.
This would be the strongest growth since official records began in 1949.
However, it comes after the economy shrank almost 10% last year in the sharpest drop in 300 years.
Bank policymakers also held interest rates at a record low of 0.1%.
The Bank expects the recovery to gather pace as the reopening of high streets paves the way for a mini-spending boom.
The UK's rapid vaccine rollout is expected to support consumer confidence, with the economy expected to get back to its pre-pandemic size before the end of the year.
Andrew Bailey, the governor of the Bank of England, compared the rapid expansion to the growth seen during the Industrial Revolution two centuries ago, when factories started using new manufacturing processes.
The Bank's survey of businesses showed that "footfall increased rapidly in the first few days of trading", with hairdressers, pubs and restaurants all reporting a surge in bookings.
Anecdotal evidence suggested that many people were also opting to take holidays in the UK instead of overseas, with demand "much higher" than pre-Covid levels.
Call for businesses to assist India - COVID-19 support campaign
In the past few weeks, a second COVID-19 wave has spread across India and has devasted major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow and Pune.
India's hospitals are running desperately low on vital equipment needed to fight Covid-19, forcing doctors to make tough decisions.
Over the course of the past year since the global pandemic took hold, Scottish businesses have been a key part of supporting efforts to suppress the virus.
The UK India Business Council (UKIBC) and UNICEF have launched campaigns in partnership with the UK and Indian governments to provide vital emergency equipment.
What equipment is required:
- Empty, refillable oxygen cylinders with 10 litres and 45 litres LMO capacity;
- Oxygen concentrators;
- in situ oxygen manufacturing plants for hospitals; and
If any businesses are able to help with these specific items, we urge them to please get in touch with the UKIBC or UNICEF.
Many thanks in advance for your help on this crucial matter.
Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2022 – Applications Open
The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are for outstanding achievement by UK businesses in the categories of:
• international trade
• sustainable development
• promoting opportunity through social mobility
Your organisation can be a business or non-profit.
Each of the award categories has additional entry criteria.
The deadline to apply closes on the 8th of September.
Find out more HERE
Latest Coronavirus Statistics
The daily update outlining the key statistics related to Covid-19 cases so far...
In this section
- Scottish Government Update - Friday 14th May
- Scottish Government Daily Update 24th March 2021
- BlueSky Experiences : COVID-19 As A Catalyst for Change Webinar 30 September
- Scottish Government SME Loan for food and drink businesses!
- URGENT update from NHS Tayside about a COVID-19 Outbreak at 2Sisters in Coupar Angus
- Waste sector grants offered for Covid-19 adaptations- Up to £10,000 per site
- Spain Quarantine Rules: An employment Law Insight
- General Guidelines
- UK government: Government launches £200m funding for sustainable COVID-19 Business Recovery, 27 June 2020
- Scottish Government: Lockdown begins to ease in Phase 1, 28 May 2020
- Scottish Government: COVID-19 Budget Revision, 27 May 2020
- Scottish Government: Sector Guidance for Easing Lockdown, 26 May 2020
- Scottish Government: COVID-19 Funding Plea, 23 May 2020
- Scottish Government: Expansion of COVID-19 Testing, 18 May 2020
- Data Protection and Privacy During the Coronavirus Pandemic
- Scottish Government: Second Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill, 11 May 2020
- Scottish Government: SME Support Doubles to £90 million, 8 May 2020
- Redundancy during Coronavirus Part 4: How do I calculate redundancy payments?
- Redundancy during Coronavirus: Part 3: How do I consult with employees who are risk of redundancy?
- Scottish Government: Emergency Loan Fund for SME House Builders, 7 May 2020
- UK Government: Business Rates Revaluation Postponed, 6 May 2020
- Scottish Government: New Powers over CAP, 5 May 2020
- Scottish Government: Preparing for Economic Recovery, 5 May 2020
- Uk Government: Self Employed Invited to Get Ready to Make Their Claims for COVID-19 Support, 4 May 2020
- UK Governement: Funding five new testing facilities in Scotland, including Perth, 29 April 2020
- Scottish Government: Rapid Coronavirus Research. More than 50 Scottish Studies to Tackle Virus and its Impact, 28 April 2020
- Scottish Government: Securing Vital COVID-19 Supplies for Scotland, 24 April 2020
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme Update and New Support for Smaller Businesses
- Aberdein Considine: View the latest response to Coronavarius
- Redundancy During Coronavirus: Part 2: How Do I Select Employees for Redundancy? 23 April 2020
- Scottish Government: Lifeline Support for Business Confirmed, 21 April 2020
- Scottish Government: Universal Credit. People Being Urged To Access All Support, 21 April 2020
- Scottish Government: COVID-19 Impact on Scotland's Economy, 21 April 2020
- Redundancy During Coronavirus: Part 1: How Do I Deal With Collective Consultation?, 21 April 2020
- Scottish Government: Call for Accelerated Business Support, 21 April 2020
- UK Government: Billion £ Support Package for Innovative Firms hit by COVID-19, 20 April 2020
- Scottish Government: Extend Brexit Transition during COVID-19 crisis, 20 April 2020
- Scottish Government: Advisory Group on Economic Recovery, 17 April 2020
- Scottish Government: Thousands of Businesses Benefit from Support Grants, 17 April 2020
- UK Government: Chancellor extends furlough scheme to end of June, 17 April 2020
- What Coronavirus Act means for Commerical Landlords
- UK Government: Universal Credit claimants to verify identity through Government Gateway, 16 April 2020
- UK Government: Councils given greater financial relief against cash flow pressures, 16 April 2020
- Scottish Government: Additional Support for Business, including additional £100m for Self-Employed, 15 April 2020
- UK Government: Magnox donates 66,000 items of PPE to support coronavirus response, 15 April 2020
- UK Government: Furlough scheme cut-off date extended to 19 March, 15 April 2020
- UK Government: Job Retention Scheme, 15 April 2020
- Scottish Government: New Mental Health Support, 14 April 2020
- UK Government Response: Commission on Human Medicines: Advice on Ibuprofen and Coronavirus, 14 April 2020
- Scottish Government: National Helpline to Support Those at High COVID-19 Risk, 13 April 2020
- UK Government: Scottish Secretary Welcomes Additional Money to Help Scotland Tackle Coronavirus, 13 April 2020
- Scottish Government: Transport Community to Help COVID-19 Sufferers, 12 April 2020
- Scottish Government: New Measures to Protect Business Tenants, 10 April 2020.
- Scottish Chamber of Commerce: COVID-19 Update
- Scottish Government: Skills matching service to help rural business. 09.04.20
- Scottish Government: Additional COVID-19 Daily Data Published 08.04.20
- UK Government: Coronavirus (COVID-19): letter to the manufacturing sector 08.04.20
- UK Government: Letter from the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, to those working in retail. 08.04.20
- Scottish Business Community calls for clarity, consistency and cooperation in COVID-19 response 3 April 2020
- Help find new ways too ease global disruption: apply for funding. 3 April 2020
- UK Export Finance to offer export insurance in all major markets in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19). 3 April 2020
- Chancellor strengthens support on offer for business as first government-backed loans reach firms in need
- Scottish Business Community calls for clarity, consistency and cooperation in COVID-19 response. 3 April 2020
- Scottish Govenment Help with non-domestic rates in Scotland during coronavirus (COVID-19) Last updated: 2 April 2020
- Coronavirus: Rishi Sunak announcement on UK government aid for self-employed
- UK Government Self-employment and Universal Credit
- Scottish Government Coronavirus (COVID-19): business and social distancing guidance. Published 25.03.20
- Scottish Government Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for businesses on offering support. Published 24 March 2020
- 20th March Update
- SCC & Scottish Government Update 18th March
- SCC & Scottish Government Update 17th March
- PKC Coronavirus (Covid-19) Guidance
- UK Government Coronavirus (Covid-19) Link
- Scottish Government Corona Virus (Covid-19) Link
- NEW Find Business Support in response to Coronavirus - from Scottish Enterprise Source
- Coronavirus: £320m rescue package for business from Scottish government - BBC Sourced
- Guidance & Quick Links
- Helpline announed by Fiona Hyslop, Economy Secretary - Sunday 15th March 2020