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Business Gateway enhances support to help businesses & self-employed survive COVID-19 crisis

Virtual appointments, online workshops and support with access to Government grants available.

31st March 2020

Small to medium enterprises, which account for 99.3% of all private sector businesses in Scotland, and 320,000 self-employed workers, are being severely affected by the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Business Gateway is ensuring those struggling have access to crucial support at this time of national crisis.

One-to-one appointments with specialist business advisors are available via video or telephone calls. All previously planned workshops are now available as webinars, and a suite of new resources have been developed to support businesses trying to adapt to new circumstances.

This includes a tutorial on business continuity planning, advice on shifting work to the home environment, how to use digital channels to communicate with customers and employees and support for those experiencing stress and anxiety to name but a few.

Business Gateway is also working closely with local authorities to support the delivery of grants that will help businesses and the self-employed deal with the impact of COVID-19. These one-off grants are designed to help protect jobs, prevent business closures and promote economic recovery. Local Authorities are working hard to roll these out quickly and effectively while handling an understandably high level of calls from businesses.

Councillor Steven Heddle, COSLA’s spokesperson for Environment and Economy, commented: “The COVID-19 outbreak is undoubtedly one of the most significant peacetime challenges that this country has faced. I want to reassure business owners that Business Gateway and local authorities will continue to help them throughout the current crisis – whether that’s on the phone, a video call, a virtual workshop or through practical guidance on our website. We know that this situation feels confusing or overwhelming for business owners, and that having someone to speak to can be really helpful.

“That support is just one part of the combined effort that Local Government, through Local Authorities, COSLA and the Business Gateway service, working with the Scottish and UK Governments and other partners, is bringing to bear on this huge challenge.

“We will continue to provide new digital resources, expand our delivery of virtual services and, crucially, give businesses reassurance and advice throughout the coronavirus outbreak.”

Business Gateway’s website also gives those in self-isolation the opportunity to enhance their skills online, with free tutorials and guides on topics such as moving trading online, business continuity planning, PR and pausing or closing a business. These resources can be accessed via

For further information on the Business Support Fund, please visit

For more information on the Self Employed Support Package, please visit