The clocks have changed and we hope you enjoyed your extra hour in bed this weekend. We certainly all deserve a little extra rest after last week, which was another with a lot of announcements to keep up with. The big news of course is the welcome increase of support for businesses and the self-employed, which we’ve summed up below:
New 5 Tier System: The Scottish Government have set out plans for a new 5-level system to help tackle the spread of the virus. Read more about the new protection levels, which are due to be introduced from 2 November, here. The current temporary measures will remain in place until then. Job Support Scheme: This scheme has been changed from the original requirement that employers pay a third of employees’ (working at least 33% of their normal hours) wages for hours not worked, to employers paying just 5% or unworked hours, with the government paying up to 61.67%, and also reduces the minimum hours requirement for employees to 20%. Find out more here. Self-Employment Income Support Scheme: The amount of profits covered by the forthcoming self-employed grant, covering the period from the start of November 2020 until the end of January 2021 will now increase from 20% to 40%.
There has also been an alteration to the eligibility criteria for this grant—in addition to being previously eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme first and second grant (regardless if you claimed the previous grants), and declaring that they intend to continue to trade, businesses must be either currently actively trading but impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus, or have been previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus. Find out more here.
The Michelin Development Fund: Businesses in Dundee, Coupar Angus, Cupar, Leuchars, Carnoustle, Arbroath, and Forfar who are in manufacturing, engineering or services (business to business) sectors and employ less than 250 people may qualify for unsecured loans from £5,000 through Michelin’s associate bank at a subsidised interest rate, with a repayment period of three to five years. A Michelin Development loan can be used for a whole range of projects which are linked to the creation of jobs. Find out more here.
Digital Strategy for Scotland Consultation: Scottish Government has launched a consultation on a new Digital Strategy for Scotland. The discussion document outlines a number of potential actions to ensure no one is left behind. Read more about the Consultation here, and view the consultation document and have your say here.
SE Restart and Rebuild: SENScot and the SENs, in partnership with others, will be hosting a week-long series of events—from 16–20 November—to inform, inspire and connect social enterprises from across Scotland. This is an opportunity for SEs across the country to come together and contribute from a local and thematic perspective via virtual SEN meetings and discussions including virtual focus groups where SEs were able to identify and explore challenges, share ideas and opportunities in conversation with their peers. Find out more here.
Scotland Loves Local Fund: A new £1 million ‘Scotland Loves Local’ fund will provide grants of between £500 and £5,000 to hundreds of projects to promote town centre and online businesses. The funding aims to support small scale improvements that will help motivate people to shop, eat and relax within their community whilst ensuring public health safety. Grants can be put towards providing safe shopping information for residents and tourists, the installation of public health infrastructure such as protective screens, physical distancing markers, hand sanitising equipment and PPE. Find out more here.
Coronavirus Restriction Fund: Businesses and employees in Scotland who have been affected by the temporary coronavirus brake restrictions that came into effect from 9th October 2020 can now apply via two different grant support schemes via their local authority. Perth and Kinross Council have released details of how they will administer these funds, which are as follows:
Business Hardship Fund: The purpose of this fund is to provide hardship relief to the following businesses: Hospitality businesses required by the regulations to operate in a restricted way; gyms unable to operate group classes due to the restrictions in regulations; producers/wholesale business supplying primarily perishable supplies to hospitality businesses required by the regulations to close or operate in a restricted way, and who are able to evidence a 25% reduction in turnover during the brake period.
Allocation of Funding: Eligible businesses with a Rateable Value (RV) of up to and including £51,000 will receive a grant of £1,000; Eligible businesses with a Rateable Value (RV) of over £51,000 will receive a grant of £1,500; Eligible businesses operating multiple premises will receive a grant of up to £10,000. The closing date for applications is Tuesday 3rd November 2020 at 5pm.
As of 21 October, the measures were extended for a further week until 6am on Monday 2 November. The fund has been adjusted accordingly. Find out more here.
Zero Waste Scotland Islands Green Recovery Plan – Refillery Fund: Funding provided by the Scottish Government and European Regional Development Fund will empower shops, from Shetland to Arran and all the islands in between, to take the next steps in the war on waste by ditching single-use packaging and moving to reusable options. Applications for funding are open until 5pm on 16 November 2020. For further details please contact IGRP@zerowastescotland.org.uk or click here.
Adult Learning Hub: Perth and Kinross Council have gathered a selection of high quality and flexible online learning courses to suit the needs of individuals, communities, community groups and employers. All activities are free and supported online by our Community Learning Workers. Enquire at firstname.lastname@example.org, tel 01738 477092 or find out more here.
Creative Scotland's Youth Arts Emergency Fund: This fund aims to safeguard creative opportunities for young people in Scotland and includes the Youth Arts Small Grant Scheme (£500-£5k), with a deadline of the 2 Nov and the Youth Arts Access Fund (£5k-£30k) with a deadline of the 12 Nov.