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Coronavirus Update — 27 April

We are all hoping that life will return partly to normal soon, but in the meantime many of us are starting to find our feet and adapt to the current situation. So it’s definitely important to stay up-to-date with all the latest news that might help to keep ourselves, our families and our businesses as well as possible. With that in mind, you can find the latest information here on our blog.

More details have emerged on the new £100 million fund designed to help the recently self-employed and struggling SMEs. We now know that it will be split into 3 separate funds, allocated as follows:

Newly Self Employed Hardship Fund: This £34 million fund will be allocated via £2000 grants to the newly self-employed facing hardship as a result of the coronavirus. It will be managed by Local Authorities.

Creative, Tourism & Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund: This £20 million fund is for creative, tourism and hospitality companies who are not receiving business rates relief. It will be managed by the Enterprise Agencies in partnership with Creative Scotland and VisitScotland.

Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund: This £45 million fund is for vulnerable SMEs who are vital to Scotland’s local or national economic foundations. It will be managed by the Enterprise Agencies.

Find out more on these funds here.

The Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG): This group—which includes COSLA, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, South of Scotland Enterprise, the Scottish Tourism Alliance, and VisitScotland—has been working on a phased plan to look at how the economy can recover once the lockdown is eased, as well as combating current issues.It’s priorities are providing reassurance and information, helping businesses access financial assistance and safeguarding employment. You can read more about their four-phase action plan here.

Pitlochry & Moulin Virus Support Group Crowdfunder: This group includes Neighbourhood Watch, Pitlochry Rotary, Pavilion User Group & Heartland Media Hub and is formed as an umbrella organisation under an existing Community Council Resilience sub-group. They want to support the community by providing hot meals, offering telephone befriending services and supporting food deliveries. They are working in partnership with the Regional Resilience network, Police Scotland, and the local authority social services. You can read more about them and support them on Crowdfunder here.

The Rural Youth Project Survey: Part of a new Scottish Government Covid-19 Rural Economy & Communities Stakeholder Group, the Rural Youth Project wants to hear from young people (18 - 28 years) living in rural areas about how the coronavirus pandemic has affected them and their community. The survey findings will be shared with the Scottish Government and takes approximately five minutes to complete. Have your say here.

Coronavirus Business Fund: Don’t forget—A £10,000 grant is available to ratepayers of businesses in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme or Rural Relief. You can check if your property is listed as a commercial premises here. Business with a rateable value up to £18,000 are eligible for this grant. Find out more here.

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