UPDATED: The Scottish government has launched a website and helpline for small businesses coping with the unfolding coronavirus pandemic.
For information and to help your businesses deal with COVID-19, contact FindBusinessSupport.gov.scot in the first instance. There are several links posted here including a checklist and guidance on how to deal with certain current and expected future impacts businesses are facing such as supply chain issues, cash flow issues or employment issues and sick pay.
If your business in Scotland is unable to find the required information online, Scottish Enterprise has also launched a business helpline, operated by its enquiry Service based in Clydebank. The helpline provides businesses across Scotland with information and support on COVID-19.
The business helpline number is 0300 303 0660. The helpline will be open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm.
Callers should select option one to speak to the COVID-19 team.
The UK government has announced a separate £780m coronavirus funding package for Scotland, in addition to already announced measures including covering statutory sick pay (SSP) for workers ill with coronavirus, payable from day one and available for two weeks, and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan.
However, the Scottish government has yet to respond to chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcement in the Budget that nearly half of all small businesses in England will be exempted from business rates in 2020-21. This is because business rates have been devolved to governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Scottish economy secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “We continue to work closely with our partners to identify what further support businesses need … I also chaired a meeting with representatives from Scotland’s business support organisations including the STUC to hear their concerns and provide reassurance that the Scottish Government will do everything in our power to protect the workforce, businesses and our economy.”
Commenting on the business rates holiday for small businesses in England, Northern Ireland finance minister Conor Murphy said: “We need to study the detail of the proposal before deciding how the Executive can best support small businesses here.”
Northern Ireland will have its own Budget later this month.
Useful link: – Looking for other sources of funding? Find the right finance for your business here