COVID-19: Essential Advice and Support for Scottish Businesses

The Scottish government have pledged to provide £2.2 billion to protect and support businesses in Scotland. Find out how your business can benefit.

Business Support Fund

The Scottish Government are offering businesses who are currently enrolled in the Small Business Bonus Scheme or the Rural Relief Scheme a one-off payment to help their business survive the Coronavirus crisis. Those businesses in the hospitality, retail and leisure sector can apply for a payment of £25,000. All other business outside of these sectors will receive £10,000.

The payment is not repayable and is not automatic. You must apply for it through your local council website. Local councils aim to make money available within 10 days of receiving your application.

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Rates Relief

All non-domestic properties that are occupied by businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure business will benefit from 100% rates relief for the whole of 2020-21.

All other sectors will also receive a 1.6% discount to their 2020-21 rates bill. You do not need to apply for this relief. Your bill will be automatically adjusted by your local council.

Note that these reliefs are in addition to the existing discounts available under the Small Business Bonus Scheme.

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Job Retention Scheme

The UK government will provide up to 80% of employee's wages (up to £2,500 per month) for ALL businesses with a PAYE scheme that was started on or before 19 March.

This benefit will be backdated to 1st March and will run for an initial 3 month period. It is only available for employees who have 'furloughed', i.e. employees who have been asked to stop working but remain on the payroll.

You can choose to top up the employees salary to the their normal level or your employees may agree to a temporary wage cut.

NOTE - Applications for the job rentention scheme must be made through a portal which will not be available until the end of April.

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VAT Deferral

If you are registered for VAT, you have the option to defer VAT payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 until 31 March 2021. You must still submit any VAT returns due.

You do not need to apply for this scheme, just don't make the payment and cancel your direct debit if you have one set up.

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Statuatory Sick Pay Relief

The UK government will refund up to 2 weeks of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) per employee for absence caused by COVID-19.

This scheme is open to all businesses with fewer than 250 employees for people who have been on the payroll on or before 28 February 2020.

NOTE - Although the government has made a commitment to provide this relief, the date that this scheme will be made live has not yet been released.

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Business Interruption Loan

The UK government has partnered with banks to support business loans of up to £5 million for businesses with a turnover up to £45 million.

To be successful in your loan application, certain criteria must be met including an ability to demonstrate the viability of your business.

To access this funding, you should speak with you business bank or one of the 40 accredited lenders.

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As at 2 April 2020 Disclaimer: We go to great lengths to ensure that the information and advice we provide is accurate. Before making any changes to your business, you should read and understand the full details of the scheme, loan or benefit you are applying for and ensure that it meets your needs.

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