We have been keeping our member businesses updated with the latest information and advice. This page will be updated regularly. Last updated 01/05/20.


Coronavirus Business Support Scheme

The Scottish Government Coronavirus Business Support Fund is being administered by Local Authorities.

The ratepayers of businesses located in a non-domestic property that is on 17 March;
1. in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme (SBBS);
2. in receipt of Rural Relief; or
3. eligible for SBBS but in receipt of Nursery Relief or Disabled Relief;

can apply to access a support fund and receive a one-off small business support grant of £10,000. This is only available if they were the ratepayer for a premises occupied for that business use on 17 March 2020.

A separate one-off grant of £25,000 is available to the ratepayers of businesses in the Retail, Hospitality, Leisure sectors operating in a premises with a rateable value of £18,001 or up to £50,999. This is the rateable value as at 17 March 2020 regardless of any subsequent reduction in rateable value due to an appeal. This is only available if they were the ratepayer for a premises occupied for that business use on 17 March 2020.

Eligible ratepayers can apply for a one-off grant payment as detailed below up to 31 March 2021. 

These grants are aimed at helping keep companies in business and keep productive capacity so that they can recover. Their intention is to:
• Protect jobs
• Prevent business closure
• Promote economic recovery

The application form is available – here. Please complete all of the parts of this application that apply to you in full, and email a copy to

Glasgow City Council will review your application and assess if you are eligible for the grant.
The Council will aim to make payment within 10 working days from receipt of a fully completed application.

The deadline for applications to the Business Support Fund is 31 March 2021.

Finance Secretary, Kate Forbes, has announced £220m of further business grants to support traders through the Coronavirus crisis including a package to help close some of the funding gap between English and Scottish businesses.

On the 15th of April 2020, Finance Secretary Kate Forbes announced a further £120m to extend the Small Business Grant scheme to ensure that in addition to 100% Grant on the first property that a business trades from, small business ratepayers will be eligible for a further 75% Grant on all their subsequent other properties they have been trading from. Applications for this scheme are due to open on the 5th of May 2020.


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is open to all UK employers that had created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on the 19th of March 2020 and will run for at least three months starting from 1 March 2020.

Employers will be able to use a portal to claim for 80% of furloughed employees’ (employees on a leave of absence) usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage.

To claim, you will need:

• your ePAYE reference number
• the number of employees being furloughed
• the claim period (start and end date)
• amount claimed (per the minimum length of furloughing of 3 weeks)
• your bank account number and sort code
• your contact name
• your phone number

You will need to calculate the amount you are claiming. HMRC will retain the right to retrospectively audit all aspects of your claim.
Once HMRC have received your claim and you are eligible for the grant, they will pay it via BACS payment to a UK bank account.

More detailed information on who can claim, employees you can claim for and working out what you can claim can be found in the below link:

Guidance for employers on the coronavirus (COVID-19) Job Retention Scheme.

The applications portal is now live can be accessed here via the below link:

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme online portal

After you submit your application, the money is expected to arrive in your bank account within six working days. To receive payment by 30 April, you will need to complete an application by 22 April.

Please remember to keep a note of your claim reference number as the system will not send you a confirmation email. 

HMRC have a set up a helpline which will be manned by up to 2000 experienced call handlers who are ready to help you with any queries you may have regarding your application. The phone number for this helpline is – 0800 024 1222. As always, we are also happy to help with any queries you may have.

Additional grant funding

Applications for a £100 million package of additional grant support for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and newly self-employed people are now open.

The funds that make up the package are as follows:

  • £20 million Creative, Tourism & Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund – this fund will be managed by the Enterprise Agencies with support from Creative Scotland and VisitScotland for small and micro creative, tourism and hospitality companies not in receipt of business rates relief with grants of up to £25,000. 
  • £34 million Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund – this fund will be managed by Local Authorities and will be allocated to the newly self-employed who are ineligible for UK support (as they became self-employed since April 2019) but are facing hardship with £2,000 grants.
  • £45 million Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund – this fund will be managed by the Enterprise Agencies providing bespoke grants and wrap around business support to viable but vulnerable SMEs who are vital to the local or national economic foundations of Scotland.

More details on eligibility criteria and how to apply can be found HERE

Defferal of VAT payments

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a VAT payments deferral to support businesses with cash flow during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This means that all businesses with a UK VAT registration have the option to defer VAT payments due between 20 March and 30 June.

You, therefore, have until 31 March 2021 to pay any VAT deferred as a result of this announcement.

You do not need to inform HMRC if you wish to defer payment. You can opt in to the deferral simply by not making VAT payments due in this period. If you pay by Direct Debit you should cancel this with your bank. You should do so in sufficient time so that HMRC does not attempt to automatically collect on receipt of their VAT return.

Should you wish, you can continue to make payments as normal during the deferral period. HMRC will also continue to pay repayment claims as normal. You must continue to submit VAT returns as normal.

More detailed information can be found on the government website – here


‘Bounce Back’ Loan scheme for businesses

The Bounce Back Loan scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000.

The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months.

Loan terms will be up to 6 years. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months. The government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest for the remaining period of the loan.

The scheme will be delivered through a network of accredited lenders and is due to launch on the 4th of May 2020.

For more information, click on the below link:

Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan


New job-finding service for hospitality workers

HospitalityUnite is a new free-to-use jobs portal which aims help workers from the hospitality sector who have found themselves displaced as a result of the COVID-19 find employment whilst they wait for their work to re-open.

If you are an organisation with urgent vacancies you would like to advertise, please also email


Support of self-employed workers

After writing to local politicians on behalf of those of our BID members who rely on self-employed workers as part of their business, we welcome the Chancellor’s announcement of the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.

The scheme will allow self-employed workers to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for at least the next 3 months.

More detailed information can be found in the below link:

Claim a grant through the coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme

The BID will continue to lobby on behalf of it’s members to ensure that support comes quickly and that the application process is straight-forward.

Online skills training

The Department for Education has launched, The Skills Toolkit, a collection of job-related online courses, teaching numeracy, coding and internet skills.

Resources available include:

  • Courses on basic maths and writing computer code provided by The Open University
  • Courses on digital skills and producing online content provided by Futurelearn
  • A course on digital marketing provided by Google
  • Resources to help people get started online by digital-inclusion charity, the Good Things Foundation

Click the link below to explore the courses available to you:

The Skills Toolkit

‘Scotland Cares’ volunteer scheme

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced a volunteering scheme for those who want to help battle the virus.

People who wish to become volunteers have three options:

• returning NHS workers will be directed to existing voluntary arrangements in NHS Scotland

• people wishing to offer their support to our public services, including the NHS and local authorities, will be directed to a site co-ordinated by the British Red Cross

• those looking for opportunities with other charities or community groups in their area will be directed to Volunteer Scotland for information.

For more information visit the Ready Scotland website – here


Guidance on the Mental Health and Well Being Aspects of Coronavirus

The government have published a guide on dealing with the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on your mental health. It contains many practical tips and links and can be read in full – here


Beware of scams relating to the COVID-19 pandemic

City of London Police has shared a bulletin alerting the public to criminals taking advantage of the current crisis to scam people in a variety of ways. The bulletin includes lots of helpful advice on how to avoid being scammed and what to do if you fall victim to a scammer. Read the bulletin in the link below:

City of London Police bulletin

HM Government also has some useful advice about being watchful for mandate fraud/scams at this time:

Government fraud advice

Free support will reduce your business’s energy bills, cut carbon emissions and boost profits

Do you want to save your business money? Reduce your carbon footprint? Boost your competitive edge? Then check out Zero Waste Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Business Support Service – funded by the Scottish Government and the European Regional Development Fund, it provides FREE money-saving support to your business.

If you’re a small or medium-sized business, you can even grab yourself some free consultancy support – and make beating rising energy costs really quick and easy.

Zero Waste Scotland’s advisors have already identified over £200 million worth of savings for Scottish businesses, with a massive 24% average energy saving per business. 9 out of 10 businesses that have had support would recommend it to others.

To begin saving money and energy, contact Zero Waste Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Business Support Service today on 0808 808 2268 or visit their website linked below.

Zero Waste Scotland website

Business support helpline

A business support helpline has been set up by the Scottish Government.

The helpline number is 0300 303 0660. The helpline will be open Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 5.30pm.

Callers should select option one to speak to the COVID-19 team.


Useful links

The Scottish Government’s ongoing response to Coronavirus

The UK Government Coronavirus site 

Glasgow City Council dedicated Coronavirus page

Scottish Government Business Q and A website

Scottish Enterprise Coronavirus webpage