Highlands

Highland

Business Gateway Highland is your gateway to expert local business advice and practical guidance. We have business advisers based in offices all over the Highland area.

Local and virtual support during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 Outbreak

Find out what support and webinars are available to you and your business during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 Pandemic.

Local support is available to help with a wide range of business matters during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak. We know this may be a very challenging time for you. We can help with business contingency planning, digital marketing, managing cashflow, dealing with suppliers and a lot more.

Plus we will be delivering virtual services in the way of webinars and online 1:1 adviser sessions.

Get in touch with your local Business Gateway office and look through what we have available online to help you with a wide range of relevant business matters.

Scottish Government Coronavirus Business Support Fund

The Fund is open to applications from today, 24 March 2020 and will offer either:

  • £10,000 grants for small businesses in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme or Rural Relief, or;
  • £25,000 grants for hospitality, leisure and retail properties with a rateable value between £18,001 and £50,999.

Guidance notes are available with the application form. The form can be found here along with further information on where to apply:
https://www.highland.gov.uk/news/article/12418/business_grant_applications_sought

If you do not qualify for this assistance, we are hopeful of more Government Announcements in due course.

We remain open for business to deliver support where required, and our advisers continue to provide free support with a wide range of business matters including continuity planning.

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.

To be eligible for self-employment income support you must:

  • have submitted your Income Tax Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19
  • have traded in the tax year 2019-20
  • be 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

Full eligibility and application details can be found on the UK Government website.

Coronavirus Funding Support and Grants

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.

Thinking of Starting a Business?

There are many ways we can help you, even if starting up still seems a way off.

Our website is a great place to begin: we offer a business plan guide to download when you’re ready, market reports as well as handy online guides. Take part in our workshops to hone your start-up skills – from how to handle the legal requirements to getting your market research right.

Plus use our Planning to Start tool to guide you through the essential steps of starting up. It takes just 10 minutes to complete and then we can then use the details you give us to create your action plan, complete with links to relevant information and support.

We’ll also recommend free workshops to help you hone your skills and may refer you to relevant support from our partners.

A business adviser from your local office will also get in touch to see how else we can help at this stage and signpost you to a wide range of other support across Scotland.

With our help, you could be in business sooner than you imagined.

Running a Business?

Maintaining a business or moving up a gear can be more daunting than starting up, so our support continues and grows with your business.

We know that your time is in short supply, so if you can’t get to your local office for 1:1 advice, we’ll come to you. Together, you and your business adviser can tailor a strategic action plan to your ambitions. Need targeted advice on HR, Restructuring, Innovation, Exporting or Digital Marketing? Your adviser can help with that too. And if you need more specialist input, we can connect you with other sources of support.

Use our resources, support and tools to learn new skills, create opportunities and gain confidence.

We run around 3,500 events each year across Scotland, with workshops on topics from bookkeeping to social media.

Get in touch with your local Business Gateway office today.

Digital Business Skills with DigitalBoost

Setting up a website is a great start, but DigitalBoost can help you to make the most of your online presence.

Tap into our free local workshops, 1:1 expert adviser support and online tools and tutorials to help you improve your digital performance. Our DigitalBoost guide has been downloaded 20,000 times and some 1,200 workshops have together attracted more than 14,000 business people.

A DigitalBoost HealthCheck can pinpoint your digital strengths, where you could do more and how we can help. Take five minutes now to fill in our form and discover how to give your business a real boost.

Local Support

Your local Business Gateway Adviser can meet you in person and offer 1:1 advice over the phone and via email. We have a wealth of experience, resources and workshops to teach you everything from starting up to growing your business. We also host events for you to grow your network. On a local basis, there are further, more in depth services, free to you and designed to assist you in everything from establishing and improving your web presence, taking on employees, or developing your sales skills, as outlined below...

Planning to Start

Find out what support and tools are available to you by answering a few simple questions with our Planning to Start tool. Then get contact from your local office to take your business idea forward.

Access to Finance

Whether you are looking for investment to develop or start your business, our Business Gateway advisers are on hand to help.

Recruitment

We appreciate that taking on a member of staff – particularly for the first time – is something many businesses find daunting, but our Business Gateway advisers provide free, personal, local support to guide you through the recruitment process.

Winning Public Contracts

Did you know that the public sector in Scotland alone buys over £9 billion pounds of goods and services from commercial businesses every year? We can help you improve your access to, and chances of winning, these public contracts and many more across Europe.

Doing business overseas

Small businesses can reap lots of benefits from expanding into overseas markets. As with any new venture, however, internationalising requires careful researching and planning. Our Business Gateway staff and colleagues at Enterprise Europe Network are here to help you with lots of information, contacts, events and support.

Key Sector Entrepreneurial Support

This activity is designed to build on the capabilities of SMEs to secure higher value contracts, both public and private.

Young entrepreneurs

If you are a young Highland entrepreneur, we can help you access a range of additional support to help you start and develop your own business.

The Prince's Trust supports young people aged 18 to 30 to start-up and grow in business by providing essential funding and professional mentoring support.

The main route into the Prince’s Trust in Highland is through your local Business Gateway adviser. They will work with you to see if you are eligible for Prince’s Trust support, and can provide business advice and support to help you become 'investor ready' – such as preparing a business plan and financial projections.

Useful Connections

As well as providing our own services, we often signpost our clients to other organisations that we work closely with, and who can provide further support tailored to our clients’ needs.

Supplier Development Programme (SDP)

SDP is a public sector partnership which delivers a variety of FREE tender training, via classroom style workshops working in conjunction with Local Authorities across Scotland, digitally via webinar and also provides a range of online resources connecting businesses with the Scottish public sector. Registration for SDP events is free for Scottish SMEs, and will connect your business with your local authority’s SDP Rep who can offer your business additional support.

Find your nearest office

Business Gateway Inverness

81 Castle Street
Inverness
IV2 3EA
Get directions
01463 713 889

Opening hours:

Monday to Friday

09:00 to 17:00

Saturday

09:00 to 13:00

Business Gateway Ardgay

The Barn
Drovers Square (Ceàrnag nan Dròbhairean)
Ardgay
IV24 3AL
Get directions
01863 766 128

Opening hours:

Monday to Friday

09:00 to 17:00 (appointment only)

Business Gateway Fort William

Charles Kennedy Building
Achintore Road
Fort William
PH33 6TZ
Get directions
01397 707 279

Opening hours:

Monday to Friday

09:00 to 17:00 (appointment only)

Business Gateway Caithness & North Sutherland

Caithness House
Market Square
Wick
KW1 4AB
Get directions
01955 621855

Opening hours:

Monday to Friday

09:00 to 17:00