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We understand that you may have concerns about your business during these unprecedented times.

The Scottish and UK Governments have been announcing  additional business support has been made available in response to Covid-19, please see below. 

Self-employed Hardship Fund

The purpose of this fund is to provide hardship relief to newly self-employed individuals who have not been able to access support through other schemes or have exhausted all other avenues for business support. To be eligible you must meet all of the following criteria. If you receive the grant you can continue to work or take on other employment including voluntary work.

More details and application form:

Application form

Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

HMRC launched the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) (13/05/2020).

Self-employed individuals or members of partnerships whose business has been adversely affected by coronavirus will be able to apply for a SEISS grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profits.

The payments will be paid in a single instalment covering three months and capped at £7,500 – expected to land in bank accounts within six working days of each claim. 

Scottish Government Coronavirus Business Support Fund

Applications are now being processed by West Dunbartonshire Council for ratepayers of businesses located in non-domestic properties within West Dunbartonshire. This includes:

  • £10,000 grant awarded to small firms receiving the Small Business Bonus Scheme (SBBS); Rural Relief; eligible for SBBS but in receipt of Nursery Relief or Disabled Relief
  • £25,000 grants for Hospitality, Leisure and Retail sectors operating in a premises with a rateable value of £18,001 or up to £50,999

More details and application form:

Application form

The deadline for applications is 31, March 2021.

Introduction of Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (wage subsidy)

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would have otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.

HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up £2,500 per month. All UK employers are eligible and HMRC are working urgently to set up this system, further details of how to apply will be announced in due course.

If your business needs short term cash flow support, you may be eligible for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan.

VAT deferral as of 31 March until 31 June 2020

Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period, with all VAT payments deferred for 3 months. All businesses are eligible and will apply from 31 March 2020 until 31 March 2020 and no application is required. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the tax 2020/21 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period.

Income Tax Payments Deferral for Self Employed

If you are self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred until Jan 2021.  This is an automatic offer with no applications required.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Relief Package

The Statutory Sick Pay Relief Package allows small and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. 

The refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work due to COVID-19.

Business Rates Relief (all businesses)

In order to help owners of non-domestic properties deal with COVID-19, the Scottish Government has made changes to non-domestic rates for 2020/21. All businesses will get a 1.6% relief.  This relief effectively reverses the change in poundage for 2020/21. This will be directly applied to business rates bills from 1st April 2020 and you do not need to apply.  Further details available on: Business Rates Relief (all businesses)

Business Rates Sector Specific

Due to COCID-19, those businesses operating with Retail, Hospitality and Tourism will receive 100% non-domestic rates relief which will be applied directly to rates bills from 1st April 2020.

Further details are available on Government Business Rates Sector Specific website  

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

The UK Government will provide rescue loans for small businesses which are Government backed. The CBILS is a new scheme that can provide facilities of up to £5m for smaller businesses impacted by COVID-19. The scheme provides the lender with a Government backed guarantee which potentially enables a ‘no’ credit decision from a lender to become a ‘yes’. The borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt.

You can find out more on the below links:

COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility

For larger firms, a new lending facility is available to raise working capital via the Bank of England directly purchasing short-term debt.  This facility supports companies that are fundamentally strong but have been affected by short-term funding squeeze.


Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers.  Businesses should check their cover with business insurer.

HMRC Time to Pay Service

Tax Relief for all businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities may receive support.  Contact HMRC’s Dedicated Helpline on 0800 0159 559.

Scottish Government Third Sector Resilience Fund

Funding is available for third sector organisations to help with cash flow and other problems.  Further information will be released in due course from the Scottish Government of how organisations can access funds.

Please continue to check for information and updates on the Business Gateway website where regular updates will be published as soon as they are available.

Advice and resources available for businesses as part of contingency planning can be found here:

In the meantime, West Dunbartonshire Council’s local Business Support Grants are still available to help local businesses where possible.