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Support Measures for Scottish Businesses

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Below is a summary of current support measures available to businesses in Scotland, including recent changes to schemes announced by the Government on 31st October and 5th November 2020.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) Extension

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement of a second England lockdown from 5th November, the planned implementation of the Job Support Scheme – intended to commence from 1st November - has been postponed and instead an extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been put in place, reverting back to the 80% salary support terms of the original scheme. The scheme will run until the end of March 2021, with a review in January, and clarity as to the exact terms of the scheme are yet to be confirmed. Details so far can be found here

Coronavirus Strategic Framework Business Fund

If your business has had to close by law or to significantly change the way it operates due to COVID-19 restrictions, you may be eligible to apply for grant funding from 2 November 2020. 

If you are eligible you can apply for a:

  • temporary closure grant - £2,000 or £3,000 (depending on rateable value) if your business is required to close by law
  • business restrictions grant - £1,400 or £2,100 (depending on rateable value) if your business can remain open but is specifically required to modify its operations by law, for example having to close earlier than normal. This does not include where a demand for your products or services has been reduced because of the pandemic

Grants will be paid every 4 weeks in arrears as long as restrictions last.

Grant funding for eligible business will cover the period of any closures or restrictions with the earliest claim date being 2 November 2020. This includes where the period for which restrictions are in place do not correspond to a four week period.

Find out more here.

VAT Deferral

For those businesses that took advantage of the deferral of their VAT liabilities due in the 20 March to 30 June 2020 quarter, there is further assistance to defer the original settlement due on 31 March 2021 for a further 11 months by instalments. While detail on how this will operate in practical terms is awaited, it may well be of assistance for those businesses carefully managing their Cash Flow. Businesses in the Tourism and Hospitality sector are also currently benefitting from a reduced VAT rate of 5% on their non–alcohol sales through to 31 March 2021.

Self-Assessment Taxation Payments

For those individuals that deferred their payment due on 31 July 2020, originally for settlement on 31 January 2021, there will also be the opportunity to spread that payment further beyond 31 January 2021. This will be limited to liabilities up to £30,000 and your 2019/2020 Tax Return must have been submitted. Again more details are awaited on the online process for requesting that additional time to pay assistance.

Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) Extension

The SEISS scheme extension will last for six months, from November 2020 to April 2021, with grants paid in two lump sum instalments, each covering a three-month period. 

The third grant will cover a 3 month period from 1 November 2020 until 31 January 2021. The Government will provide a taxable grant calculated at 80% of 3 months average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment and capped at £7,500 in total. This is an increase from the previously announced amount of 55%.

Further details on the scheme can be found here 

Coronavirus “Bounce Back” Loans and CBILS Loans

The date for application for Loan funding under these schemes has been extended to 31st January 2021 for those still to apply. In addition, the period for Loan Repayment can now be extended to 10 years rather than the previous 6 year term. Bounce Back Loan holders will also have the opportunity to take a six month repayment holiday during the Loan term to assist with Cash flow issues and those who have borrowed less than their maximum can top-up their existing loan.

Further details on the loans can be found here

Coronavirus Restrictions Fund

Applications for this funding closed on 3 November 2020.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Business Contingency Fund

This first phase of the Contingency Fund will provide one-off grants to two sectors that have been closed by law since March 2020: nightclubs and soft-play centres.

This first phase of Contingency Fund grants will operate as a three-tiered scheme, with awards dependent on Rateable Value. 

Eligible businesses will receive a:

  • £10,000 grant for a property from which they operate with a rateable value of £18,000 or under; or
  • a £25,000 grant for a property from which they operate with a rateable value between £18,001 and £51,000; or
  • a £50,000 grant for a property from which they operate with a rateable value above £51,001.

Businesses operating multiple premises will be eligible for each one, with second and subsequent locations payable at 75% of the standard rates set out above.

Further information can be found here

Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme gives you financial support to create new 6-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. The scheme is open to all organizations. While the support is available for those organizations with a minimum of 30 placements, any business can be involved through a Partner organization such as Dumfries & Galloway Chamber of Commerce.

It pays:

  • 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week
  • employer National Insurance
  • minimum automatic pension enrolment contributions
  • £1,500 per job placement for setup costs, support and training

Adopt an Apprentice Programme

Additional funding is available through Skills Development Scotland for Employers recruiting apprentices who have lost their jobs. Please see the following link for more information on the funding recently increased from £2000 to £5000 per apprentice. Find out more here.

Job Retention Bonus

The previously planned Job Retention Bonus payment has now been put on hold.


For more information about the assistance available to you and your business, get in touch with Douglas by calling 01387 955900 or email douglas.russell@armstrongwatson.co.uk

Contact Douglas