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Coronavirus Update — 18 May

Well, Monday has rolled around once again. Whether that finds you commuting to your living room from your bedroom or going to work just as normal, we hope you have a great and productive week.

A reminder for this week: If you’re self-employed make sure you check for eligibility and apply for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme as soon as possible. You need to do this yourself and you do not need to wait for an invitation from HMRC.

Other important updates this week include:

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Last week it was announced that this furlough scheme, where the government covers 80% of employees wages, has been extended until the end of October. From August it will change slightly to allow more flexibility to get employees back to work. You'll need to apply by Wednesday 20‌‌ May to ensure you receive a payment by the end of May. Read more here.

£100m Fund for SME House-builders: SME house-builders with a yearly turnover of £45m or less and who build five or more homes per annum will be able to apply for a short-term loan of up to £1m from the Scottish Government. Applications open from May 18. Find out more here.

Tourism Destination and Sector Support Fund: This fund will provide financial help to tourism destination and sector  organisations across Scotland who've lost income from membership subscriptions from tourism businesses due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown. Find out more here.

Protecting Against Coronavirus-related Scams: Alison Stone is cyber resilience coordinator at the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) and has written an article on staying safe online, which you can read here. And the latest Cyber Resilience bulletin from the Scottish Government can be read here.

Connecting Scotland: This programme, which involves SCVO working with partners across the public, private and voluntary sectors, is now live. If you currently work with people that are on low incomes and in the ‘shielding’ group, they would be interested in hearing your experiences of issues related to digital exclusion. Get in touch here.

BBC Scotland's Debate Night: With an audience from Perth planned for the programme on Wednesday 27 May, this is a chance to apply to be part of the video audience and put your important questions to a studio panel of politicians. Visit here and click on 'Join the Audience'.

Culture Perth and Kinross Impact of COVID-19 Survey: This survey is exploring how people and communities across Perth & Kinross have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Responses will become part of CPK permanent collections and will be available as a research tool for future generations, as well as possibly being used in exhibitions, social media, publications, etc. Take the survey here.

Visual Arts Scotland: Creative practitioners are wanted to take part in a series of free online events. Contributions can include studio tours, talks, demos and performances. Each contributor will receive a £125 fee. Deadline is 20 May 2020 at 17:00. Find out more here.

Collective Artisan Workshop Spaces in Crieff: A group of local creatives are looking to establish whether there's a demand for a collective workshop space in the creative community of Crieff and surrounding area. If you work in the creative industries please take a few minutes to complete the survey here.

Perthshire Artisans: A great local initiative powered by GrowBiz, you can now subscribe to the Perthshire Artisans newsletter to be the first to know about new products, hear from the artisans and get seasonal gift ideas. Sign up here.

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