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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. 

Coronavirus Business Closure Fund & Business Hardship Fund

These new and temporary business support funds are being administered by Local Authorities on behalf of the Scottish Government, providing one-off grants to businesses very directly impacted by the restrictions implemented on 9 October 2020. 

COVID-19 Business Closure Fund is available to hospitality and other businesses required to close (except for takeaway) by these new restrictions. It operates as a two-tiered scheme, with a smaller grant of £2,000 for businesses with a Rateable Value (RV) of up to and including £51,000 and a larger grant of £3,000 for those businesses with a RV of £51,001 and above.  An upper limit of £15,000 in total will apply to any eligible business operating multiple premises.

The COVID-19 Business Hardship fund  will provide payments of £1,000 or  £1,500, dependent on Rateable Value -   to  support some businesses that remain open but are still significantly impacted by the restrictions, including those in the direct supply chains of firms that must close.  An upper limit of £10,000 will apply in total to any eligible business operating multiple premises.

Eligibility and applications can be made from the Business Closure Fund & Business Hardship Fund page

Town Centres – Information and Support for Businesses reopening

As we ease out of lockdown and cafes, restaurants, public houses and other businesses start to reopen, further guidance and information is being published to help businesses ensure the protection of their staff and customers and support economic viability. This includes guidance and information on:

Health Protection

Public toilets

  • Conduct routine checks and take measures appropriate to reopening e.g. legionella risk management
  • Review all toilet and sanitary facilities (including disabled and baby change areas) to determine whether the fixtures and fittings are in good working order. Replace or repair if not.
  • Make adjustments to ensure physical distancing and facilitate good hygiene e.g. signage, taping off areas and floor markings
  • Consider the need for additional waste management arrangements

More information is available here: http://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-public-and-customer-toilets-guidance/

COVID-19 on the premises

Outdoor seating (non licensed premises)

  • The Council can support businesses who have a need for outdoor seating in the vicinity of their premises such as on the public footway. If you want to place seating on the footway contact the Council at ShopLocal@west-dunbarton.gov.uk with details of your requirements.
  • A  Street Café Application under Section 59 of the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 is required
  • If you are a licensed premises, more information about outdoor seating.

For any other queries or advice and support, please contact ShopLocal@west-dunbarton.gov.uk

 

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. 

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

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.