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Coronavirus Update: 16 February

It’s another packed blog this week, with more sector-specific funding announced and other resources made available to help small businesses and enterprises deal with the impacts of Covid. Read on for your important updates:

Bounce Back Loan Pay as You Grow: Bounce Back Loan borrowers will now have the option to tailor payments according to their individual circumstances, with an option to delay all repayments for a further six months, extend the length of their loans from six to ten years, and make interest-only payments for six months. Find out more here.

The  Hostel COVID-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund: This fund has been established to provide financial support for the Scottish based hostel sector. The fund will be open for online applications from 12pm on Wednesday 17 February until 12pm on Tuesday 2 March 2021.  Find out more here.

Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund: This fund is not yet open for applications, but guidance has been published to help you prepare to apply. Read information about the fund, who is eligible and what information you need to gather before you apply here.

Large Self-Catering Grant: This fund is for larger self-catering properties in Scotland that have been impacted by the single household restrictions during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Self-catering businesses are eligible if they have a property which accommodates seven or more people, and for which they pay non-domestic rates. The grant will make one-off payments of £2,000 to eligible applicants. Find out more here.

Support for Bed and Breakfasts Paying Council Tax Grant: This fund, designed to help bed and breakfasts (B&Bs) in Scotland which have been adversely affected by the coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions, will provide B&Bs that pay council tax, but not non-domestic rates, with financial support equivalent to the Strategic Framework Business Fund Level 4 payments. This amounts to grants of £2,000 every four weeks. Find out more here.

New Lanark Trust Charity Application Decision: A recent Scottish court decision could have significant implications for social enterprises applying for charitable status. Read this article by Charity Law specialist Alan Eccles (BFK Solicitors) on the ruling here.

Events Industry Support Fund 2: The Events Industry Support Fund 2 is for new applicants who were ineligible to apply to the Events Industry Support Fund. Details on the new application process, including criteria and guidance are available here, with the fund set to open this week.

Circus’ Graduate Associates: A development programme for emergent visual artists in the Highlands and Islands, Moray and Perthshire. This programme is being delivered in partnership with the University of the Highlands and Islands and is supported by XpoNorth and Creative Scotland. Find out more here.

National Lottery Grants for Heritage: These will reopen with refocused priorities for 2021-22, prioritisingheritage projects that: boost the local economy; encourage skills development and job creation; support wellbeing; create better places to live, work and visit; improve the resilience of organisations working in heritage. Find out more here.

Rural Social Enterprise Survey: This questionnaire has been designed to capture the unique characteristics of rural and remote social enterprises in Scotland. Take it here.

The Highland Council Local Discretionary Fund: This fund is now live. The grant scheme provides a fixed one-off payment of £2,000 per business. The grant is open to all business types including Limited Companies, Sole Traders, Trusts and Partnerships. Applications are on a first come, first served basis. Find out more here.

HMRC Furlough Calculation Mistake: HMRC has announced it had uncovered a mistake in its CJRS calculator that could mean claims have been over or understated. This means employers may need to recalculate furlough claims for January. Find out more here.

Making Tax Digital for Income Tax: Is this the right time?: HelpKatherine Barker with her final dissertation research for an Accountancy & Finance degree, which is focused on the 'Making Tax Digital' initiative. In particular, the affects it will have on Income Tax for the self-employed or those who have earnings over £10,000 which must be declared. If you are either self employed, a landlord or a person who fills out a self-assessment for extra income she would like to hear from you. All surveys are anonymous and take 5 minutes. Take the survey here.

All Strong — Well & Connected at Home: This innovative and free community wellbeing project for Perth & Kinross provides direct and ongoing mental health self-management and overall wellness support to those facing extra challenges in this difficult time. This is a highly collaborative project across Perth & Kinross and All Strong will be working with a variety of long-term and new partners both in a referral and delivery capacity. Participants will be able to register for the programme from mid-February, with wellbeing bundle delivery and the first sessions commencing early March. For further information and to get involved please email Andy –

GrowBiz Scotland Board: We are currently recruiting new trustees to the GrowBiz board from all areas of rural Scotland. We’re seeking individuals with an interest in and knowledge of rural enterprise and, ideally, a background of funding/finance, sponsorship, marketing, digital technology or social enterprise. A general background knowledge of the rural economy and the current policy environment would be useful. Further details on the GrowBiz Trustee Charter and Person specification can be downloaded here. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer trustee and providing strategic support to GrowBiz, please contact CEO Jackie Brierton in the first instance –

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