The right Covid-19 business support, at the right time, is vital. These are difficult and strange times for everyone, everywhere – and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic will be felt for years to come, of that there is no doubt. In today’s news, the Bank of England warns that we’re facing the deepest recession on record as a result of the pandemic.
The Bank’s modelling scenario shows the UK economy entering its first recession in more than a decade. The economy shrank by 3% in the first quarter of 2020, followed by an unprecedented 25% decline in the three months to June.
Key Business Support Schemes
The UK and Scottish Governments quickly announced a response to provide financial and other support for business to keep the economy afloat and protect jobs. We’ve summarised just a few of the key Covid-19 business support schemes below, and signposted where to go for further help or to apply. All information below is correct at time of publication.
Support for Business Ratepayers
There are two types of grant available to ratepayers – these 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.
Small Business Support Grant (£10,000)
A one-off grant of £10,000, and £7,500 for each qualifying property is available to small businesses who (as at 17 March 2020) are in receipt of either Small Business Bonus Scheme rates relief or Rural rates Relief
Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Support Grant (£25,000)
Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value between £18,001 and up to and including £51,000 (as of 17 March 2020) will be able to apply for a one-off grant of £25,000, and a subsequent grant of £18,750 for each qualifying property after the one-off grant.
Support for Employers
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
If you cannot maintain your current workforce because your operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), you can furlough employees and apply for a grant that covers 80% of their usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and pension contributions (up to the level of the minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contribution) on that subsidised furlough pay.
Support for Self Employed
Small and micro-businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, so it’s good to see support for the self-employed available for those new to self-employment and those longer term self-employed, the former scheme being administered through local authorities.
Self-Employed Income Support Scheme
The Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will provide a grant worth 80% of profits to a cap of £2,500 per month for the self-employed with profits less than £50,000 per annum. It will be based on average profits declared in the last 3 years tax return and is open for 3 months initially, with payments expected in June 2020.
Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund
The Newly Self Employed Hardship Fund is for people who became self–employed on or after 6 April 2019 and are not eligible for the UK Government scheme mentioned above.
Covid-19 Business Support Helplines and Websites:
- The Covid-19 Helpline for Scottish businesses: 0300 303 0660
- The HMRC Helpline: 08000 241222
- Coronavirus Support for Businesses in Scotland.
For further help on business support for Covid-19, or training opportunities and managing the impact of Covid-19, contact your local Chamber of Commerce or Business Gateway office. Many business support networks have switched training delivery to online via webinars and are Business Gateway webinars are free to attend.
This information is correct at time of writing, and does not imply eligibility or constitute legal advice. Please check sources mentioned for up to date guidance.