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Find out how we can help your business through the coronavirus

Business Gateway is here to help Scottish businesses get through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We have local offices and experienced advisers across Scotland working with thousands of businesses. Plus we have free online support, guides, and the latest news on funding and grants.

Coronavirus Local Office Business Support

What we can do to help your business

As businesses across Scotland look to plan, change and adapt as we move through the lockdown phases, Business Gateway is here to provide you with tailored 1:1 support (via phone or Skype), route you to the right Government funding package, offer free webinars, guides, checklists and advice.

We are here to support you. See below for a range of the resources that we have already put together and contact your local Business Gateway office for 1:1 advice.

Back to business

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DigitalBoost upskilling and support

Get free 1:1 consultancy, access webinars & online support plus a free healthcheck from our DigitalBoost programme.

Connections Podcast

Connections Podcast

Our new Connections podcast series explores the challenges facing business in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Diversifying Business

How to diversify your small business

As a result of Covid-19, many more businesses are looking to diversify - either to seize new opportunities, or simply to survive in very difficult trading conditions.

Booking

Guide to selecting an online booking system

Government regulations around Covid-19 mean that many more businesses now need formal booking systems to manage social distancing between customers.

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Keeping your customers up to date – a fortnightly checklist

With four phases to releasing the lockdown (any of which could change if infection rates accelerate again) businesses need to regularly review customer communications.

Selling Online

Next steps once you’ve started selling online

In the early days of lockdown, many small businesses which normally interacted face-to-face with customers had to rush to create a short-term online offering to get through the first few weeks. Here are some next steps once you've started selling online.

Action Plan

Action plan for managing your new online platform

At the start of the pandemic, many businesses rushed to create a new online presence to sell their products and services. Read this action plan for managing your new online platform.

Selecting The Right Platform

Q & A - Selecting the right platforms to run online classes

During the Covid-19 lockdown, many instructors have been rushing to switch their face-to-face class into online formats. We spoke to Sonia Rutherford and Sarah Johnson from data-driven marketing agency, IndigoLeap, about what’s involved when moving physical classes online.

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Switching to trading online – what you need to know

In these difficult times when people are not allowed to visit non-essential shops, trading online is often the only way for you to sell your products and services. This tutorial explains what’s involved in getting into online trading and, once you are set up, how to make a success of it.

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Actions for businesses to consider during the current coronavirus pandemic

We round up some key actions that businesses should consider during this challenging time.

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Using digital to reach your customers quickly in a crisis - advice for SMES

Covid-19 is forcing everyone to work differently. If embracing digital was always ‘one of those things we’ll eventually get round to’, it will now be top of your list if your customers can’t come to you.

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Managing your business reputation during the coronavirus

This guide summarises some of the most important considerations for businesses and some tips on how to stay visible, on message and on brand during these unusual and uncertain times. We hope these help you to prioritise and develop an action plan for your business.

Customer Feedback

4 ways customer feedback can help you right now

For businesses that remain open during the pandemic, many are diversifying or using new channels to deliver services in different ways. They’re doing this at breakneck speed - there’s no time for months of market research and focus groups.

Be Your Own Boss

Business planning

As your business develops and changes, so should your business plan. That’s why we have created a series of templates and guides to help you structure and plan your business better.

Sector and official guidance

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Guidance for homeworking

Guidance to support the continuation of homeworking during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Scottish Government – Safe working guidance for business

The Scottish Government is releasing sectoral guidance to help industries prepare for safe working as we come out of lockdown. You can view a list of the sectoral guidance that has been issued so far.

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Small and micro businesses guidance

This guidance is to help micro (less than 10 employees) and small (less than 50 employees) companies safely re-open.

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Scottish Hazards

The Scottish Hazards Centre provides free and confidential health and safety information, advice and in depth support to non-unionised individual workers and groups of workers in Scotland.

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Health and Safety Executive (HSE) risk assessment

A risk assessment along with guides to safe working for all businesses are available from HSE.

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Reopening and adapting your food business

Guidance on hygiene and food safety requirements for food businesses to reopen and operate safely during COVID-19.

Healthy Working Lives

Healthy Working Lives

Healthy Working Lives have created a bank of useful resources for employers and employees around planning to return to work and mental health.

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Coronavirus test and protect advice for employers

Advice for employers on helping staff who need to self-isolate at home.

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COVID-19 info & guidance for non-healthcare settings

This guidance is to support those working in a range of settings outside of health and social care to give advice to their staff and users of their services.

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British Retail Consortium (BRC) guidance

The safety and wellbeing of every retailers’ staff and customers is a top priority. BRC has produced recommendations which will assist retailers to facilitate the introduction of social distancing. It covers retail and warehouse and distribution centres.

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COVID-19 guidance for food business operators and their employees

Including a guide for food businesses and their employees, take away guidance, social distancing posters and more.

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Webinars: Coronavirus business support

Our local and national webinar programme covers a wide range of topics to help your business with all of the issues it faces due to the coronavirus.

Book your free place now

Marketing and rebuilding sales

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Claim it or leave it – could Google My Business boost your marketing?

Often overlooked in marketing, Google My Business is a straightforward, easy and free tool that helps small businesses raise their local profile in Google’s search results.

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Step-by-step guide - claiming and populating your Google My Business profile

If your business serves customers face-to-face and in a specific local area, then a Business Profile within Google My Business can be particularly useful.

Search

Keeping your SEO and PPC up to date

As we progress through the Scottish Government’s lockdown phases, your business operations and service levels will probably continue to change, so it’s important to update your SEO and PPC activities.

Podcast Guide

How to make a podcast for your business in 11 simple steps

With many companies turning to digital tools to stay connected with customers and to stay visible within communities during the coronavirus, podcasts are a fantastic way of opening a natural dialogue between business and customers. But where do you start?

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5 ways you can use email to communicate with your customers during the coronavirus

During the Covid-19 crisis, digital channels are especially valuable for helping businesses react quickly and keep their customers up-to-date. Here is a run down on how you can use email to improve communication with customers.

Communications

5 point plan to keep in touch with customers

The coronavirus lockdown has led many businesses to stop trading. Normally when businesses close, it is either forever, or a two week holiday at the most! However, this is an unprecedented situation where businesses will close with the hope of opening again in a few weeks or months.

Getting Your Tone Right

7 tips to getting your tone right in business communications during the coronavirus

During the pandemic, customer communication through your digital channels is essential. Whether this is to update customers of changes to your business, or letting them know of new services you can provide, the words that you use and the tone that you take are incredibly important to your ongoing customer relationships.

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Using & reviewing digital channels during coronavirus/COVID-19

All organisations can use digital tools and channels to respond quickly and communicate with customers, staff and suppliers.

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Experienced local business advisers, webinars & access to further support

Find your nearest office

HR and mental health

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Test & Protect: Considerations for your business

This Q&A touches on some of the most FAQ in relation to people management by Scottish businesses.

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Employee Wellbeing

This video tutorial will help businesses gain a deeper understanding of employee wellbeing and mental health and provides guidance on how to maintain physical wellbeing and implement a positive mental health culture in the workplace.

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Getting back to business: HR considerations

HR consultant to Business Gateway, Alison Bell, answers some commonly asked questions, and provides some suggestions on options employers may wish to consider as part of a restructure post COVID-19.

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Getting back to business: HR guidance for employers

As lockdown eases, business owners may be considering plans for returning to trading and thinking about what this means for their workforce. To help navigate this challenging time, we spoke to two of our specialist advisors to get some expert guidance and answers on some of the most FAQs.

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COVID-19 business resilience and the future of work

Geraldine Higgins from Flexibility Works talks us through what businesses can expect and do to prepare for more flexible working.

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Supporting your wellbeing and mental health during Covid-19 and beyond

Catriona Davies from Resolution Mediation Scotland has a wealth of experience in supporting teams and staff’s wellbeing. We asked her for some tips on how we can ensure that we continue to remain well during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Supporting your staff's mental wellbeing during Covid-19 and beyond

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to evolve and change, the role of a leader has never been more crucial. We spoke to Catriona Davies of Resolution Mediation Scotland, who has years of supporting companies to provide mental wellbeing within teams, for some top tips and resources to help leaders and managers.

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Managing conflict whilst home working

Working from home can create challenges for ourselves and also how we interact with the people that we work with. As we learn to adapt to our new working environment, we spoke to Catriona Davies from Resolution Mediation Scotland, a specialist in conflict resolution and mediation, about some tips we can all use to manage conflict during these times.

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Why emotional wellbeing is so important during Covid-19

In these unprecedented times, emotional and mental wellbeing is so important right now. How we support our self, how we support others within our business or business contacts is absolutely crucial.

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A checklist for business owners work/life balance during lockdown

Running a business, working from home and managing your work/life balance mean different things to different people. We are all having to adapt. But for some it may be easier than others. Catriona Davies from Resolution Mediation Scotland provides us with a useful checklist that should help everyone cope a bit better with the situation.

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Looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak

Infectious disease outbreaks, like the current coronavirus (Covid 19), can be scary and can affect our mental health. This guide can help support you and your workforce.

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Coping with stress and anxiety during the coronavirus outbreak

Over the past couple of weeks we have seen unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety across a large section of the population. Ray Knox is a Management Training Consultant with years of experience in helping business owners manage their workloads and mental health. We spoke to him for some advice on guidance on how to handle it all.

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Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) employer obligations

This short guide gives an outline on your obligations as an employer when it comes to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

Clear Your Head

Clear your head – and feel better

It’s important we look after ourselves now more than ever. Read these practical tips on how to clear your head from the Scottish Government.

Working remotely

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Adopting flexible & remote working into your business

Prepare your business for more flexible & remote working with this video tutorial, learn about the benefits, strategies & best practice involved in adopting this into your organisation.

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Managing a team remotely – how to make it work better for everyone

The rapid spread of the coronavirus is presenting huge challenges across every industry in the world, as businesses adapt to new directives and restrictions on movement.

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Webinars, live streams and video conferences: Running a business remotely

While we are all dealing with coronavirus travel restrictions, it’s even more important to know how to interact with colleagues, clients and customers online. This tutorial gives you an insight into what’s possible and how you set about doing it.

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Online Tutorials

You can watch these Online Tutorials 24/7 and they cover a wide range of topics relevant to getting your business through the coronavirus crisis including Trading Online, Crisis PR, Social Media and Digital Strategy.

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Closing a business

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Redundancy support for employers & employees

PACE (Partnership Action for Continuing Employment) is the Scottish Government’s programme offering individuals & employees advice & support when faced with redundancy.

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Closing a business – making that decision and what you have to consider

No one could have forecast the current business climate in Scotland. There is no easy guidance through this unprecedented situation, just words of support, direction and government guidelines that change and are updated on a daily basis.

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14 points to consider when closing your premises during self-isolation

At the moment most businesses have had to close their premises and although there are also less people on the streets we wanted to remind you of some security measures that you should consider when closing up.

Cafes And Restaurants

Advice and actions for cafes regarding temporary closures due to coronavirus

With cafes closed or working as takeaways we spoke to Café and Restaurant Management Consultant Angela Lyons who has worked in the industry for over 17 years.

Funding and grants

Funding And Grants

Coronavirus funding support and grant list - Daily update

A list of support that is available has been created and can be downloaded as a PDF. It Is being updated daily so please check back for further updates. It includes information on all business funding and grants made available to help businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

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Eat Out to Help Out Scheme

Find out how to register your restaurant or establishment for the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme.

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Coronavirus financial support finder

Use this business support finder from the UK Government to see what support is available for you and your business.

Self Employment

UK Self-employment Income Support Scheme

The UK Government has announced support if you’re self-employed or a member of a partnership and have lost income due to the coronavirus. This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months.

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Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

For smaller businesses with a turnover of less than £45m looking for up to £5m in finance. Business loans, overdrafts, invoice finance & asset finance available. First 12 months of interest and lender-levied fees covered.

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Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)

For larger businesses with a turnover of more than £45m looking for up to £50m in finance (depending on turnover). Business loans, overdrafts, invoice finance & asset finance available. Repayment terms of up to three years.

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Future Fund to support innovative UK businesses

This fund provides government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5m subject to at least equal match funding from private investors.

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Universal Credit for the self-employed

We have produced this short guide to applying for financial support if you are self-employed and affected by the coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak.

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Support for creative professionals and organisations

Creative Scotland has launched three funding programmes designed to provide further support to sustain the country’s creative community during the COVID-19 outbreak.

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The Prince’s Trust & Natwest Enterprise Relief Fund

This £5 million Enterprise Relief Fund offers grants to 18 to 30-year olds across the UK who are self-employed and/or running their own business.

Small Business Advertising

Small Business Advertising Fund

The FSB have partnered with Mail Metro Media to give small businesses impacted by the coronavirus a chance to receive a £3000 tailored advertising package for free.

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Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

Employers can find out if you can use the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to reclaim employees' coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

Other business support

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Federation of Small Business (fsb)

fsb is the largest business campaigning group in the UK and is providing support and services to its members and non-members during the coronavirus.

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Scottish Government framework for decision making

The route map includes details of the phased approach being taken to re-open businesses.

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Scottish Government business news

Visit the Scottish Government website for the latest business guidance information, funding announcements and business related statements on the coronavirus.

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UK Government business news

Visit the UK Government website for the latest business guidance information, funding announcements and business related statements on the coronvirus.

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Other business support from across Scotland

You can search findbusinesssupport.gov.scot to see what other support is available to you from other business support agencies in Scotland.