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Coronavirus Business Funding

Support Mechanisms available now:

Strategic Framework Business Fund
If your business is required to close by law or to significantly change its operations due to COVID-19 restrictions, you may be eligible to apply for grant funding. Grants will be paid every 4 weeks in arrears as long as restrictions last.

If your business is required to close by law, apply for the Temporary Closure grant:

  • £2,000 if your business premises has a rateable value of up to and including £51,000
  • £3,000 if your business premises has a rateable value of £51,001 or above
  • An upper limit of £15,000 in total in any four-week period will apply to any eligible business operating multiple premises (after 1 January 2021, this limit will be removed)

If your business can remain open but is specifically required to modify its operations by law, for example having to close earlier than normal, apply for the Business Restrictions grant. This does not include where a demand for your products or services has been reduced because of the pandemic:

  • £1, 400 if your business premises has a rateable value of up to and including £51,000
  • £2,100 if your business premises has a rateable value of £51,001 or above
  • An upper limit of £10,500 in total in any four-week period will apply to any eligible business operating multiple premises (after 1 January 2021, this limit will be removed)

Click here for more information

Covid-19 Contingency Fund
The Scottish Government have announced an £11 Million COVID-19 Contingency Fund.⠀Phase 1 of the Fund will provide one-off grants to Nightclubs & Soft-play centres.⠀One-off grants of up to £50,000 will be available to businesses in both sectors through the COVID-19 Contingency Fund. Grants will be based on rateable value.

UK Government Statutory Sick Pay – Employee
Statutory Sick Pay will be paid from day 1 instead of day 4 for those affected by Coronavirus.
To access the scheme:
If you have COVID-19 or are advised to stay at home, you can get an ‘isolation note’ by visiting NHS 111 online, rather than visiting a doctor. For COVID-19 cases this replaces the usual need to provide a ‘fit note’ (sometimes called a ‘sick note’) after 7 days of sickness absence.

Kickstart Scheme
The UK government has introduced a Kickstart Scheme to create high-quality 6-month work placements. It is aimed at those aged 16 to 24 who are on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long term unemployment.

Business Support Grant

As part of the Scottish Government’s £2.2 billion package of support for Scottish businesses affected by COVID-19, two grants are available to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs):

  • £10k grant for all businesses qualifying for Small Business Bonus Scheme, eligible for rural relief or nurseries relief, from April.
  • £25k grant for businesses in hospitality sector for Rateable Values between £18,000 and £51,000 from April.

To apply for either of these grants, please click the link below

For East Lothian based businesses (scroll down to Business Support section)

For Midlothian based businesses

Job Retention Scheme

Under the coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers with a PAYE scheme will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. This applies to employees who have been asked to stop working, but who are being kept on the pay roll, otherwise described as ‘furloughed workers’. HMRC will reimburse 80% of their wages, up to £2,500 per month. This is to safeguard workers from being made redundant. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to March 1st and is initially open for 3 months, but will be extended if necessary. 

The UK Government has also issued further guidance on the recoverable costs for  employers, made on behalf of furloughed employees, Recoverable costs include National Insurance and any Pension contributions that are made above the mandatory employer contribution. Updated info HERE 

Financial Support for the Self Employed

The UK Government has also announced that those who are self-employed wil receive support in line with the Job Retention Scheme, covering 80% of their average income. The money - up to a maximum of £2,500 a month - will be paid in a single lump sum, but will not begin to arrive until the start of June at the earliest. This cannot yet be applied for. HMRC will check eligibility and invite applications in due course. More information is on the Government website 

For Guidance on Self Employment Income Support Scheme HERE 

Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund 

This grant is for businesses that can play a critical role in supporting Scotland’s recovery but need some immediate support. It might be to get back up and running or to maintain or diversify your current operations. If you have the potential to continue trading and supporting employment but have an immediate cash flow challenge, then this grant is for you. Find out more

Creative, Tourism & Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund

This £20m fund is designed for companies that are ineligible for other COVID-19 grant support or are not yet in receipt of the funds they need to survive. Find out more 

The Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund

a £35m fund for newly self-employed facing hardship through £2,000 grants. You need to apply in your Local Authority area.You will be asked to provide documentary evidence of your status and eligibility for the grant. Local authorities will then determine whether you meet the criteria, which has been set by the Scottish Government.Find out more 

For East Lothian Businesses and For Midlothian Businesses

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

To support SMEs, CBILS will provide loans of up to £5 million, with no interest due for the first 12 months. You can apply for one of the Royal Bank of Scotland's loan products using the normal application process. If you are not eligible to receive finance against their standard lending criteria, they will be able to consider your application under the CBILS scheme. More info here

East Lothian Investments is offering loans up to a maximum of £5,000, interest free with a holiday repayment period of four months. Open to existing businesses only that have been trading for more than two years and have employees.

British Business Bank announce the expansion of the Corona Virus Business Interruptions Loan Scheme (CBILS) has now been expanded to allow access to smaller businesses. Find out more

CBILS Support Pack For Chamber members
Please find info on CBILS scheme and what lenders are available for Scottish Businesses MELCC Coronavirus CBILS Providers  

The Third Sector Resilience Fund is now open

Charities and social enterprises can apply for grants of between 5k and 100k to support the health and continued viability of the organisation during the Covid 19 outbreak. It's specifically targeted at covering gaps in your income, rather than new activities. There are also 0% interest loans starting at 50k, which have no arrangement fee and a 4 year repayment window. More info, follow this link

Help with non-domestic rates

To help owners of non-domestic properties deal with the impact of Coronavirus, the Scottish Government has made changes to non-domestic rates (business rates) for 2020-21 and a one-off grant for business. Read more about non-domestic rates relief

Help with Statutory Sick Pay

The government will meet the cost of COVID-19 statutory sick pay (SSP) for small businesses with up to 250 employees (as at 28 February 2020) for 14 days. SSP will now be available for eligible individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 or those who are unable to work because they are self-isolating in line with government advice. SSP will also be payable from day one instead of day four for affected individuals. The government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible.

The Drink Trust Covid-19 Relief Fund
The Drinks Trust Covid19 Relief Fund is open to people that have lost their job and/or income as a result of the Covid19 pandemic. Applicants should be subject to one of the following conditions:

• Been made redundant and not furloughed
• Been on a zero hour contract, working limited hours in recent months.

All applicants must have been employed in the drinks industry for a minimum period of 2 years. The fund will make a single payment of £250 to eligible applicants but there is limited time to apply as the fund closed on Friday 10th April 2020 or once 10,000 applications have been received. Application form can be accessed here 
Creative Scotland Funding Scheme

3 funding programmes have been launched. They are designed to provide support to sustain Scotland's creative community during the Covid19 pandemic.

The programmes comprise:

  • A Creative Scotland Bridging Bursary Fund to help sustain creative practice by freelance creative professionals who have lost earnings due to the cancellation of work as a result of the Coronavirus.
  • A parallel Screen Scotland Bridging Bursary Fund will provide similar one-off bursary support to self-employed screen sector workers
  • The Open Fund to sustaining creative development, open to organisations and individual to sustain their creative development in the coming months.

More information and how to apply is available on the Creative Scotland website 

Self Caterer Grant Support

The Association of Scotland’s Self Caterers (ASSC) has reported amendments to the guidance for self-catering eligibility for grant support.

“Self-catering accommodation and caravans are considered eligible for grant funding if receipts represent a primary source (for example, one third or more) of earnings for the ratepayer and the property has been let out for 140 days or more in financial year 2019-20.” Read more  

Farm Payment Schemes 
A farm payment scheme has been created to alleviate COVID-19 pressures. The Scottish Government received £80 million following a six year campaign to have EU convergence funds repatriated to Scottish farming. The Scottish Government has increased the fund to £90 million for 2019-20 to reach more farmers and crofters who need the support most.  Around 7,000 specialist beef producers will benefit from payments worth around £40 million in the coming weeks, ensuring money is still going to farmers and crofters during these unprecedented and challenging times. Read more   
Support for aquaculture 
Aquaculture businesses threatened by the effects of Covid-19 can now get financial support from the Scottish Government. Hardship payments of up to £27,000 are being made available for around 100 businesses which make a full time living from shellfish growing and trout farming. To apply for a grant, shellfish and trout businesses are required to demonstrate that the business operates on a full time basis and has suffered severe hardship as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. Grant payments will cover two months and be equivalent to 50% of the average monthly gross revenue from sales of aquaculture products in 2019 of each business. Find out more  
Coastal business support 
Coastal businesses and third sector organisations affected by Covid-19 can now benefit from a £7.2 million Scottish Crown Estate fund which is devolved to councils.

The 26 councils in Scotland who have coastlines can use their remaining share of the fund which they have not yet allocated to offer direct support to struggling coastal enterprises and organisations, after agreement by the Scottish Government and COSLA. The fund, from Scottish Crown Estate net revenues, is normally used for projects delivering coastal community benefit. Read more 
The Prince’s Trust And NatWest Enterprise Relief Fund
The £5million Enterprise Relief Fund will offer grants to 18 to 30-year olds across the UK who are self-employed and/or running their own business. In conjunction with cash grants, the initiative will offer one-to-one support and guidance to anyone who needs it and who may be worried about their future. Read more 
£1.25 Billion Support Package for Innovative Start-Ups hit by Covid-19
UK businesses driving innovation and development will be helped through the coronavirus outbreak with a £1.25 billion government support package, the Chancellor announced today.  The comprehensive package includes a new £500 million loan scheme for high-growth firms, called the Future Fund, and £750 million of targeted support for small and medium sized businesses focusing on research and development.  Read more 

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