Business Support Advice

Provided by 27 March 2020 by West Dunbartonshire Council

Further to the UK Government announcement on the evening of Friday 20th March 2020, additional business support has been made available in response to Covid-19. Some key areas of support relevant to businesses, are listed below:

• Scottish Government Coronavirus Business Support Fund – Now live and being administered by Local Authorities. This fund provides direct support to ratepayers of businesses located in a non-domestic property that is on 17 March 2020, and includes:
o £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.
o £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.
UPDATE: For West Dunbartonshire businesses, please refer to - https://www.west-dunbarton.gov.uk/business/grant-and-loan/business-support-fund/ 

• Introduction of Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme [i.e. wage subsidy] –
All UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those who would have otherwise been laid off during this crisis. HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. Further details of how to apply still to be announced.

• VAT deferral as of 31 March until 31 June 2020 – available for all businesses with no applications required

• Income Tax Payments Deferral for Self Employed – Deferral of Income Tax Payments for self employed due in July 2020 deferred until Jan 2021. Automatic offer with no applications due.

• 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. Further info on updated guidelines will be available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19 

• Business Rates Relief (all businesses) – 1.6% relief for all property, freezing the poundage rate next year. This will be directly applied to business rates bills from 1st April 2020. Further details available here: https://www.mygov.scot/non-domestic-rates-coronavirus  

• Business Rates Sector Specific - A full year’s 100% non-domestic rates relief for retail, hospitality and tourism business ratepayers - Directly applied to business rates bills from 1st April 2020. Further details available here: https://www.mygov.scot/non-domestic-rates-coronavirus/ 

• Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme – Loan support with UK Government Guarantee. Further details to be confirmed w/c 23rd March 2020 via – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19
https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/ 

• COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility - Purchase of short-term debt (Large firms only). Further details to be confirmed w/c 23rd March 2020 via https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19 

• 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 available directly to the third sector organisations to help with cash flow and other problems. Awaiting further details from Scottish Government of how organisations can access funds.

Please continue to check for information and updates on the Business Gateway website: https://www.bgateway.com/news/guidance-for-business-owners-in-scotland-on-coronavirus-covid-19  where regular updates will be published as soon as they are available.