Coronavirus Business Advice

 

We appreciate this is a challenging time for tourism businesses. Below is information on a range of business support available and useful links during the Covid-19 crisis. We are continually monitoring the situation and will regularly be updating this information.

If you have any queries on business support, the first point of contact should be Fife Council's Economic Development team at [email protected] 

Checklist for tourism businesses

Scottish Enterprise has produced a handy checklist for tourism businesses which can be downloaded here.

Scottish Government

Detailed 'closure guidance' was issued (25th Mar) for businesses - https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-business-and-social-distancing-guidance/

Rates relief is available for Scottish businesses, and grants for businesses in some sectors likely to be most affected. Information available here Business Support

Applications are now open for the Scottish Government Business Support Fund and will be open until Tues 31st March. Small businesses in receipt of the Small Businesses Bonus Scheme or Rural Relief can apply for a grant of £10,000 and retail, hospitality and leisure business ratepayers with a rateable value between £18,001 - £50,999 can apply for a one-off grant of £25,000. Apply here: https://www.fife.gov.uk/kb/docs/articles/health-and-social-care2/coronavirus-covid-19/businesses-and-employers

Government business helpline number is 0300 303 0660 and is open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm. Callers should select option one to speak to the COVID-19 team.

Job Retention Scheme - https://www.government-online.net/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme/

Self-employed

If you're self-employed, here are details of support package announced - https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-details-of-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-announced

Please note HMRC will contact you if you are eligible for the scheme and invite you to apply online.

Beware of scams! If someone texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC, saying that you can claim financial help or are owed a tax refund, and asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, it is a scam.

FAQs relating to the scheme can be found here: https://bit.ly/SelfEmployedFAQs

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

You are able to claim Universal Credit, providing you meet the usual eligibility criteria - https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/contact-universal-credit 

New claimants will not need to attend the Jobcentre to demonstrate gainful self-employment. You need to claim Universal Credit ONLINE. 

Find out if you can use the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to reclaim employee's coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-back-statutory-sick-pay-paid-to-employees-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19

Self-catering

Self-catering accommodation and caravans will be eligible for both the one-off £10,000 grant for small businesses and the one-off £25,000 grant for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors where this is the primary source of earned income and the property is let for 140 days or more.

https://www.gov.scot/news/supporting-tourism-through-coronavirus/

Museums & Galleries 

Museums Galleries Scotland is pleased to announce £700,000 of Scottish Government funding will be used to establish an Urgent Response Fund to support museums and galleries critically affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.https://museumsgalleriesscotland.org.uk/stories/mgs-announces-new-funds-to-support-scotlands-most-vulnerable-museums-and-galleries-and-to-support-digital-and-home-working/

Hotels 

Cheshire-based software company, Hop Software, has developed a free-of-charge online shop to enable hotels across the UK to provide a click, collect and delivery food and drink service to local customers. https://fifetourismpartnership.org/news/free-of-charge-ecommerce-technology-launched-to-help-hoteliers-continue-to-trade-during-lockdown/

VisitScotland 

VisitScotland has a dedicated support page for those working in Scotland's tourism industry. For updates, advice and news, visit: https://www.visitscotland.org/supporting-your-business/advice/coronavirus

They've also added a really useful Q&A - https://www.visitscotland.org/supporting-your-business/advice/coronavirus/faqs

New job finding service for tourism & hospitality workers - https://www.visitscotland.org/news/2020/job-finding-service

To find out more about the work that VisitScotland is undertaking to monitor the impacts of Covid-19 and to view the results of the first survey, please visit: https://www.visitscotland.org/supporting-your-business/advice/coronavirus/visitscotland-response 

Get some best practice advice on what to share on your digital channels (website and social media) during the current and evolving coronavirus situation https://www.visitscotland.org/supporting-your-business/advice/coronavirus/content-sharing

Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA)

The STA has remained on the front foot since the Coronavirus crisis started to unfold. The organisation is having conversations with all sizes and types of tourism businesses across Scotland around the clock and continues its dialogue with the Scottish and UK Governments to bring about the introduction of additional measures that will prevent the collapse of our industry in the coming weeks and months. Read more on their activity and sign up for daily updates. 

Business Gateway Fife

There is support locally through Business Gateway Fife including a series of online tutorials - https://www.bgateway.com/resources/coronavirus-support

Advisers can offer free support with a wide range of business matters including continuity planning, managing cashflow, HR and dealing with suppliers. There may be funding options. Click the link to discuss further with your local Adviser https://www.businessgatewayfife.com/finance

How to get your business through the current emergency. This tutorial outlines some key considerations to help you prioritise and develop an action plan for your business. https://www.bgateway.com/resources/how-to-get-your-business-through-the-current-emergency/overview 

National Lottery Heritage Fund

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has put together a £50 million fund to support the heritage sector as an immediate response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. https://www.heritagefund.org.uk/news/heritage-emergency-fund-launches-help-sector

UK Hospitality 

UKHospitality represents the broad hospitality sector across the UK – covering everything from bars, coffee shops, contract catering, hotels, nightclubs, visitor attractions and other leisure venues. UKHospitality and over 200 CEOs from across the UK’s hospitality sector have called on the Government to provide immediate support for businesses. Read more on their site. 

A free-to-use jobs portal to help workers from the tourism and hospitality sectors who have found themselves displaced as a result of the COVID-19 is now open. If you are seeking part-time or full-time employment email [email protected] to gain access to the portal. 

Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland has announced three separate funds for those within the creative sector: 

https://www.creativescotland.com/what-we-do/latest-news/archive/2020/03/covid-19-impact-funds?fbclid=IwAR2hnm37530LtvPvJuvoSxidfyFfGaRbE86s9PqkKxFK_2lAaAHFcBRT-t0

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

CBILS Is a scheme that will be delivered by the British Business Bank and has opened for applications. It supports term loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and more. It can provide facilities of up to £5 million for smaller businesses across the UK who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruptions to their cashflow.

More information available here - https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/

VAT Payments

ALL UK business are eligible.

For VAT, the deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.

This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.

Income Tax

For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021.

If you are self-employed you are eligible. This is an automatic offer with no applications required. NO penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period.

Business Tax

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC.

Businesses can now apply for a 3 month extension to filing their company accounts. It's a quick 15 min process.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-more-time-to-file-your-companys-accounts

A helpline has been set up - 0800 015 9559. Lines are open from Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm and on Saturday, 8am to 4pm.

More information available here - https://www.gov.uk/government/news/tax-helpline-to-support-businesses-affected-by-coronavirus-covid-19

HMRC Time to Pay

The HMRC “Time To Pay” scheme offers further support for businesses with outstanding tax liabilities and who may be experiencing cashflow difficulties. Individual arrangements are negotiated on a case-by case basis. Contact the HMRC for more information.

If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, please call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559. If you’re worried about a future payment, please call them nearer the time.

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hmrevenue-customs/contact/business-payment-supportservice

Food & Drink Sector

To support food and drink manufactures in protecting their workforce from Covid19, Scotland Food & Drink, along with their partners and member businesses, has pulled together best practice tips being used by members of the food and drink business community.

Please follow the link: https://foodanddrink.scot/media/2907/factory-best-practice.pdf

UK Government guidance for food businesses https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-food-businesses/guidance-for-food-businesses-on-coronavirus-covid-19 

A reminder that Food Standards Scotland has published a Q&A for consumers and businesses - https://www.foodstandards.gov.scot/consumers/food-safety/coronavirus/questions-and-answers-covid-19

Licencing/Planning

Fife Council has relaxed planning rules to allow pubs and restaurants to operate temporarily as takeaways. More info here.

DIAGEO has introduced a helpline for businesses in the licensed trade to provide advice on how they can access the government assistance announced, including grants and wage support. Developed with business advisory firm Grant Thornton, the helpline is free to call on 0207 728 2556. Businesses can also enquire via [email protected]

Fishing Fleet Support

A Sea Fisheries Intervention Fund has been set up to provide emergency hardship support for fishing vessels 12m and under in length -  https://www.gov.scot/publications/covid-19---emergency-hardship-support-for-scottish-fishing-industry/

Fife Council Business Occupants

Should you require to discuss any business property related concerns, as a result of Coronavirus impacts please contact:[email protected]

The rateable value of your premises can be found here: https://www.saa.gov.uk/

ACAS Webinars for Employers

Employers can join a free ACAS webinar ‘Coronavirus – an advisory webinar' for employers’ on 2 or 7 April. The webinar provides practical advice for employers to help manage the impact of coronavirus in the workplace. https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus

Useful Weblinks

UK Government support for businesses - https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/

UK Government advice - https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

NHS Advice - https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Fife Council Advice - https://www.fife.gov.uk/kb/docs/articles/health-and-social-care2/coronavirus-covid-19

Business Rates support - https://www.fife.gov.uk/kb/docs/articles/business2/business-rates/business-rate-reductions

Council Tax - Complete this On line form to contact the Benefits and Council Tax Team

Statutory Sick Pay information - https://www.acas.org.uk/checking-sick-pay/statutory-sick-pay-ssp

Scottish Government Coronavirus action plan - https://www.gov.scot/news/action-plan-on-coronavirus-covid-19/

FCO guidance for British people travelling and living overseas during the outbreak - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

Fitfortravel advice for before, during and after you travel - https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/disease-prevention-advice/coronavirus-disease-covid-19

FSB info - https://www.fsb.org.uk/campaign/covid19.html

Third Sector Resilience Fund - https://scvo.org.uk/support/coronavirus/funding/for-organisations/third-sector-resilience-fund

Business Improvement District Resilience Fund - https://www.scotsman.com/health/coronavirus/coronavirus-ps1m-boost-help-business-improvement-districts-support-local-firms-2523286

HMRC has made a Q & A log available which may offer you more clarity around areas which you have questions on in relation to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Click here to download.

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