Virtual & Local Business Support – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

Business Gateway is being responsive and reactive to the needs and challenges Scottish businesses face due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Below you will find a list of free business resources and links to funding information that may be useful to you at this difficult time.

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We have also put in place actions to allow us to deliver a virtual advisory and workshop service. Plus our experienced advisers can offer free support with a wide range of business matters including continuity planning, managing cashflow and dealing with suppliers.

Local Offices

Business Gateway has local offices all over Scotland and they are now operating virtually to support businesses with each Local Authority. We are available to offer advice on key elements like business contingency planning, managing cashflow, trading online and dealing with suppliers. As well as signposting to other relevant sources of information and support that may be able to help you.

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 Business Support Fund

The Scottish Government has opened the £1 billion Business Support Fund. The one-off grants are designed to help protect jobs, prevent business closures and promote economic recovery, and more than 90,000 ratepayers across Scotland will be able to benefit.

Two types of grant are now available to ratepayers:

  • £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.

You can apply for a grant now through your Local Authority.

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.

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:

Business Continuity Guide

You may already have one in place but if not then this is the time to put together a Business Continuity Plan that includes things like cashflow, supply chains and employee management.

How to get your business through the current emergency

Businesses across the country are all adapting to new, unprecedented circumstances imposed by the COVID-19 epidemic. This tutorial outlines some key considerations to help you prioritise and develop an action plan for your business.

Actions for businesses to consider during the current coronavirus pandemic

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

Business Contingency Planning Online Tutorial

Businesses across Scotland are facing disruption due to the Coronavirus outbreak so we have recorded a short online tutorial on Business Contingency Planning to help you.

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.

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. In the UK measures have been introduced to reduce day-to-day contact with other people to limit the spread of the infection. With many people in self-isolation as offices across the country close in response, widespread remote working is the new normal for the foreseeable.

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.

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.

If you don’t have an in-house IT expert, and need to get up and running now, here’s some easy-to-use tools that are free or low cost.

5 point plan for keeping in touch with customers when your business is closed

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.

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.

But to minimise the risk of wasted resources, it’s even more important to regularly gather data and feedback from customers and make best use of your digital platforms to help with this. Here’s four ways this can help you adapt.

Working from home – Tips to help you settle in

With many people now working from home and with school closures about to hit we spoke to a business that has operated from home for the last 15 years on what we can do to adapt.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. This advice is correct as of 16th March 2020 and will be updated as necessary.

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).

Online Tutorials

Our Online Tutorials cover a wide range of topics to help you and your business. From Social Media and Digital Strategy, to Cyber Resilience and Email Marketing. You can watch them for free without having to leave your home or office.

DigitalBoost Podcasts

This series is brought to you by DigitalBoost, Business Gateway’s leading digital skills programme for SMEs in Scotland. We’re rounding up top tips from digital experts to help your business with everything online.

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.

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.

New HMRC Helpline for Businesses and Self-Employed

A helpline for businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus has been launched by HMRC on: 0800 0159 559.

Opening hours are: Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, and Saturday 8am to 4pm. The helpline will not be available on Bank Holidays.

Official guidance for business owners in Scotland on Coronavirus (COVID – 19)

Guidance for business owners and their employees on how to deal with concerns about Coronavirus (COVID – 19) in the workplace.

Other business support from around Scotland

Find out what other business support may be available to you from other agencies and organisations.

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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.

Actions for businesses to consider during the current coronavirus pandemic

The impact of the virus on the business community is real. It will hit some businesses harder than others but everyone will need to take some actions to mitigate the impact on their products and services and indeed their cash flow. Take action now.

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.