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COVID–19 Business Hub - Perthshire Chamber of Commerce

COVID–19 Business Hub

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.

Please also see:

  • Our B2B Support Page for a bank of valuable information and business support available from our members and partners.

Monday 16th November Perthshire Chamber - You Asked and We Delivered November 2020

Pleased to relase Perthshire Chamber's updated iteration of SCC Network’s ‘You Asked We Delivered – Part 2’ publication showcasing the breadth of business representation we have undertaken and the results we have achieved as a Network on behalf of our collective business membership.

Never before has our role been more critical in its ability to speak on behalf of our membership and actively influence Governments at the highest levels to ensure policy supports our businesses, communities and the economy. Our Network has achieved an immense amount on behalf of our members but we know there is more to do and we will keep our foot on the gas.

As always, your comments and ideas are always welcome.

VIEW HERE

Scottish Government's Daily Update Wednesday 2nd December 2020

This update from the Scottish Government directs businesses to the most up to date information on COVID-19 as we move forward with our economic response.

The Find Business Support website continues to provide details on the assistance available as well as information and advice on how businesses can restart safely through and out of lockdown.

At today’s media briefing the Deputy First Minister confirmed there was no changes to the international quarantine list this week.   He said that the Scottish Government would assess the need for any further sectoral exemptions at the next review of the international travel regulations – which is to be completed by 14 December - following changes in England to exempt people working in certain sectors from the requirement to self-isolate.

Read the full speech here.

Further information on quarantine rules and information on the process for people entering Scotland is available here.

A consultation on proposals for a manufacturing recovery plan, which aims to secure a strong, sustainable future for the sector, has been launched. The plan has been developed by the Scottish Government, its enterprise and skills agencies, industry partners, trades unions and academics to support the sector over the next 12 months. Take part in the consultation here.

Further support has been announced for childcare sector. Qualifying day nurseries will continue to benefit from 100% relief on non-domestic rates until at least June 2023.

The Scottish Government’s Strategic Framework is now operational, you can find out exactly which coronavirus lockdown restrictions apply to you by using the Scottish Government's postcode checker.

Safer workplace guidance is released on a sectoral basis and can be found here.  

Grants are available for businesses that are required by law to close or to significantly change operations as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. Find out who is eligible and how to apply here.

The NHS Inform coronavirus webpage is the fastest way for people to get the latest health advice and information.

We hope that you will find this useful and share with your networks where appropriate

 

LATEST GOVERNMENT UPDATES, QUICK LINKS, GUIDES & ANNOUNCEMENTS

Tuesday 10th November 2020 - Perth and Kinross into Tier Three from Friday 13th Nov 2020

The First Minister has today outlined the outcomes of the first review of the Scottish Government Strategic Framework to the Scottish Parliament.

Below is a snap summary of the latest developments:

  • Highland, Moray, The Western Isles, Orkney & Shetland will remain in Level 1 of restrictions
  • From Friday, residents of the three island authorities will be able to meet with one other household inside their homes - up to a strict maximum of six people

 

  • Fife, Perthshire & Kinross and Angus will be going up from Level 2 restrictions to Level restrictions from this Friday
    • All other local authority areas currently at Level 2 restrictions will remain at Level 2, as the Scottish Government say that there is no evidence of a sufficient drop off in cases yet

 

  • No local authority will move to level 4 this week
    • But the Scottish Government says there are a number of areas that are giving some cause for concern and they will be monitoring these particularly closely over the next few days

 

  • The travel guidance remains for people not to travel out within a Level 3 council area or into a Level 3 council area, unless for essential purposes. General guidance also remains for people not to travel outside of Scotland

SEE LEVEL THREE SNAPSHOT HERE

Details on the updated protection levels can be found here

Scottish Government’s Press Release here

The latest travel guidance is here.

 

Thursday 5th November - Furlough Scheme Extended until March 2021

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak, has just announced in the past hour that the UK Government Job Retention Scheme will be extended to the end of March 2021. Please see attached a factsheet from the Treasury that provides further details and a snap summary below.

  • This extension will apply to ALL areas of all the UK, with government paying up to 80% of usual wages for hours not worked up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.
  • Employers will continue to contribute towards pension and national insurance costs.
  • The policy will be reviewed in January, to access if economic circumstances mean that employers could contribute more towards these costs.
  • Job Retention Bonus not be paid in February, will be replaced by something similar in January by another form of retention incentive.
  • This will be available to the devolved nations to access

 
Employer flexibility: Businesses will have flexibility to use the scheme for employees for any amount of time and shift pattern, including furloughing them full-time.
 
Employer contribution: There will be NO employer contribution to wages for hours not worked. Employers will only be asked to cover National Insurance and Employer pension contributions for hours not worked. For an average claim, this accounts for just 5% of total employment costs or £70 per employee per month.
 
Payment: The extended CJRS will operate as the previous Scheme did, with businesses being able to claim either shortly before, during or after running payroll. Claims can be made from 8am Wednesday 11 November. Claims made for November must be submitted to HMRC by no-later than 14 December 2020. Claims relating to each subsequent month should be submitted by day 14 of the following month, to ensure prompt claims following the end of the month which is the subject of the claim.
 
Employee eligibility: Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously claimed or have been claimed for under CJRS to make a claim under the extended CJRS (if other eligibility criteria are met). An employer can claim for employees who were employed and on their PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020. The employer must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee.
 
Employees that are re-employed: Employees that were employed and on the payroll on 23 September 2020 (the day before the Job Support Scheme announcement) who were made redundant or stopped working afterwards can be re-employed and claimed for. The employer must have made an RTI submission to HMRC from 20 March 2020 to 23 September 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for those employees.
 
Guidance: HMRC will publish details of employers who make claims from December onwards under the extended scheme. Full details of this will be within the detailed guidance to be published next week.
 
Job Retention Bonus (JRB): The JRB will not be paid in February and UKGOV will redeploy a retention incentive at the appropriate time. The purpose of the JRB was to encourage employers to keep people in work until the end of January. However, as the CJRS is being extended to the end of March, the policy intent of the JRB falls away.
 
Help for the self-employed: Today, the UK Government is announcing that they are increasing the overall level of the grant to 80% of trading profits covering November to January for all parts of the UK. There is to be a fourth SEISS grant covering February to April, further details on that are expected to be published soon.
 
*Extension of CJRS, SEISS grants, loans and mortgage holidays are all UK-wide.

VIEW THE ECONOMIC FACTSHEET

 
23rd October 2020

The Scottish Government have now published their draft strategic framework for a tiered approach to lockdown restrictions, alongside information on business support to help businesses affected by current restrictions.

The Draft Strategic Framework will be debated at the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 27th Oct. If passed (highly likely), it will come into force on 2nd November.

Key aspects of the framework, including detail behind the tiers and the four harms framework are shown below as well as a link to the full framework.

Initial summary

  • Moving to a strategic approach to outbreak management based on five levels of protection. The document aims to provide a more transparent and understandable framework for managing outbreaks and allow rapid but proportionate responses to be taken – locally or nationally – using a range of measures and options.
  • The framework aims to give the capacity to respond on a national basis if required, but also to avoid a ‘one size fits all’ approach if it is not: one part of the country with low rates of infection does not have to live with the level of protective measures designed to suppress the virus in areas with much higher rates.
  • The tiers and decision-making will be based on the four harms evidence. The five protection levels consist of four levels above the Route Map Phase 3 baseline (or ‘Level 0’). They are designed to achieve progressively stronger effects in suppressing the virus. It is possible to move up and down.

 

Latest information on business support

  • A grant of £2,000 or £3,000 (depending on rateable value) for business required to close by law, payable every four weeks for the duration protective measures are in place
  • A hardship grant of £1,400 or £2100 (depending on rateable value) for businesses that remain open but are specifically required to modify their operations by protective measures, payable every four weeks for the duration measures are in place
  • These grants will be provided regardless of level, to eligible businesses, and paid in fortnightly instalments (subject to discussions with local authorities) SG expect this bespoke support to be supplemented by UK Government support, not least the revised Job Retention Scheme launching on 1 November.
  • Financial support will be made available as levels are reviewed, and SG will work with local authorities to ensure a quick and efficient local delivery mechanism for this support. SG say that they will also continue to engage with specific sectors who have may face unique impacts.
 

View Scotland's Strategic Framework here

Draft Strategic Framework - The Four Harms

Draft Strategic Framework Tiers

29th September 2020 - Scottish Government Update 

In light of the recent announcements on changes to Coronavirus restrictions, the Scottish Government is running two new campaigns: September Restrictions and Stop The Spread. Both campaigns will be running initially for 2 weeks and there is further information in the toolkit link below, which also includes posters and other assets that can be downloaded for use.

DOWNLOAD TOOLKIT

September Restrictions Campaign

This provides information on the new restrictions that have come into force.

Stop the Spread Campaign

This activity encourages compliance with both the new restrictions and the existing guidance.

Please Share

We would appreciate you supporting the campaigns by sharing them with your audiences / networks and posting on your social channels with the hashtag #WeareScotland. 

Available Assets

If you would like to download all assets in one folder you can find the link below:

 
Chancellor outlines Winter Economy Plan, Thursday 24th September 2020

Rishi Sunak unveils government’s plan to protect jobs and support businesses over the coming months.

Published 24 September 2020

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak today outlined additional UK government measures to support businesses and workers impacted by coronavirus across the UK.

It includes plans for a jobs support scheme to replace furlough, help for the self-employed, business loans and VAT cuts.

SCC has prepared a summary guide to all the new support measures announced today, you can find a link to this below which you are free to share.

Here is a snap summary of the measures:

Jobs Support Scheme

  • Under the scheme, the government will subsidise the pay of employees who are working fewer than normal hours due to lower demand;
  • It will apply to staff who can work at least a third of their usual hours;
  • Employers will pay staff for the hours they do work;
  • For the hours employees can't work, the government and the employer will each cover one third of the lost pay; and
  • The scheme will run for six months starting in November.

Support for the Self-employed

  • The chancellor is extending the self-employed grant on similar terms to the jobs support scheme;
  • A grant will be available to those eligible for the Self Employment Income Support Scheme Grant;
  • The grant will cover three months' worth of profits for the period from November to the end of January; and
  • It will cover 20% of average monthly profits up to a total of £1,875.

Business Loans

  • Bounce Back Loans will be extended from six years to 10, cutting monthly repayments by nearly half;
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme lenders will also be able to extend the length of loans from the current maximum of six years to 10 years; and
  • The chancellor is also extending the deadline for the government's coronavirus loan schemes to the end of November.

Taxes

  • The 15% emergency VAT cut for the tourism and hospitality industries will be extended from January 2021 to 31 March; and

Business who deferred their VAT bills will be able to pay back their taxes in 11 smaller interest-free instalments; and Self-assessment taxpayers will be able to defer tax payments to January 2022.

SCOTTISH CHAMBERS SUMMARY GUIDE - click here or on image to view or download.

 

Scottish Government Route Map Phase 3 Update 20th August 2020

The First Minister has updated the Scottish Parliament today on the latest review of the COVID-19 restrictions.

Scotland is to remain in Phase 3 of the route map out of lockdown and indicative dates have been given for the reopening of further sectors of the economy in August and September.

The publication can be viewed here.

 

Micro and Small Business Workplace Guidance


We have created guidance which provides practical advice for micro (less than 10 employees) and small (less than 50 employees) companies as they plan to re-open their businesses. This guidance is for businesses where there is no sector-specific guidance published, so if your business is in a sector for which specific guidance has been published, then you should follow this.
To view the document, please click here or click on the image below.
For specific sector guidance from the Scottish Government, please click here.

 

Extension of Self-Employment Support Scheme and Confirmed Furlough Steps (from Scottish Chambers of Commerce)

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has tonight confirmed that the government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme will be extended, giving more security to individuals whose livelihoods are adversely affected by coronavirus in the coming months, the Chancellor announced today.

Those eligible under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), which has so far seen 2.3 million claims worth £6.8 billion will be able to claim a second and final grant in August. The grant will be worth 70 per cent of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.

The Chancellor also set out more details on how the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will continue to support jobs and business as people return to work, following the announcement of an extension of the scheme on 12 May.

From 1 July 2020, businesses will be given the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back part-time. This is a month earlier than previously announced to help support people back to work. Individual firms will decide the hours and shift patterns their employees will work on their return, so that they can decide on the best approach for them - and will be responsible for paying their wages while in work.

The scheme updates mean that the following will apply for the period people are furloughed:

  • June and July: The government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 as well as employer National Insurance (ER NICS) and pension contributions. Employers are not required to pay anything;
  • August: The government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions – for the average claim, this represents 5% of the gross employment costs the employer would have incurred had the employee not been furloughed;
  • September: The government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,190. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and 10% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500. For the average claim, this represents 14% of the gross employment costs the employer would have incurred had the employee not been furloughed; and
  • October: The government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and 20% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500.

 

Perthshire Chamber Publication: YOU ASKED WE DELIVERED 

Our 'You Asked We Delivered’ publication (which has been worked on and created with our close colleagues at Scottish Chambers of Commerce) showcasing the breadth of business representation we have undertaken and the Results we have achieved as a Network on behalf of our collective business membership.

I am sure you will agree that never before has our role been more critical in its ability to speak on behalf of our membership and actively influence Governments at the highest levels to ensure policy supports our businesses, communities and the economy. Our Network has achieved an immense amount on behalf of our members but we know there is more to do and we will keep our foot on the gas.  READ MORE

 

External Coronavirus Insight 1st May 2020 (Compiled by the Scottish Enterprise Insights and Economics team – 1st May 2020)

 

COVID-19: A FRAMEWORK FOR DECISION MAKING 

At today’s media briefing, the First Minister said that a quarter of a million people had accessed the COVID-19: A Framework for Decision Making document since it was published online yesterday and she encouraged people to continue to engage with the Scottish Government on the issue.

Perthshire Chamber Business Guide for Covid-19 - Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme​ (CBILS) (Updated 09.04.2020)

 

Perthshire Chamber Business Guide for Covid-19 - Employment Support for Businesses

 

Perthshire Chamber Business Guide for Covid-19 - Financial Support Schemes (Updated 27.03.2020)

Please click on the image below to see the Perthshire Chamber Business Guide for Covid-19.  This details the financial support schemes available for businesses including the Job Retention Scheme and the CBILS Scheme.

Coronavirus Business Support fund

Applications through the Perth and Kinross Council website here.

HMRC Helpline for Tax Issues

There is an HMRC helpline for tax issues at 0800 015 9559

Business Helpline

A helpline providing businesses across Scotland with advice and guidance on COVID-19 has been announced by Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop.

The helpline is 0300 303 0660, and will be open Monday to Friday, between 8.30am to 5.30pm.

PKC Line for Grant Help

 

PARTNER SUPPORT PAGES

Business Gateway

Perth and Kinross Council

Scottish Chambers of Commerce

Scottish Government:

     https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/

     https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/coronavirus-advice

     https://www.gov.scot/news/

Scottish Enterprise

UK Government

 

 

 

 

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