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Coronavirus Update: 8 February

Last week was an especially busy one for announcements and funding updates, so do spend a few minutes taking a look at this blog post to make sure you’re not missing out on anything you could be eligible for:

Coronavirus Discretionary Fund: If you're based in Perth and Kinross, qualifying businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions and regulations and have had no financial support since 9 October 2020 can apply for this fund, aimed at micro and small businesses across all sectors and company types, including those that do not pay non-domestic rates. The discretionary fund will offer a one-off grant of £2,000 per eligible business. Find out more here.

Small Business Bonus Scheme: This scheme, developed by the Scottish Government, provides rates relief to help owners of non-domestic properties, including businesses, deal with the impact of coronavirus. You will need to apply via your local authority's website. Find out more here.

Start Up Loan: This is a government-backed personal loan of of £500 to £25,000 available to individuals looking to start or grow a business in the UK. Unlike a business loan, this is an unsecured personal loan. You’ll also get free support and guidance to help write your business plan, and successful applicants get up to 12 months of free mentoring. All owners or partners in a business can individually apply for up to £25,000 each, with a maximum of £100,000 available per business. Find out more here.

Mentoring Young People through the EY Foundation: The EY Foundation Our Future programme would like to connect young people living in Perth and Kinross with a mentor who can provide support, encouragement and advice. They will support mentors to undergo an enhanced DBS/PVG check, complete some online NSPCC Child protection modules and provide a full briefing and mentor guidebook with session plans. Pairings will be asked to meet up regularly for six months. There is no eligibility criteria in terms of experience, but mentors should be able to communicate effectively with young people and show a willingness to make a positive difference. If you would like to find out more please contact James at:

Business Gateway Webinar: Trading with the EU for Small Businesses: This 90-minute webinar for small business will look at what has changed since 1st January and what you need to do now to trade in the EU. It takes place on Tuesday 16 February, 10.00am – 11.30am; register here.

Tay Cities Food & Drink Expo 2021: This year's Tay Cities Food & Drink Expo is taking place on the 15th & 16th March. This event is a fantastic opportunity to introduce farmers, producers & manufacturers from Angus, Fife, Dundee & Perthshire to restaurants, chefs, cafés, bars, retailers & accommodation providers and more. To register your interest as a supplier or buyer please contact Appetite for Angus on by close of business Fri 19th Feb. Find out more about the event here.

Recruiting From Europe & Beyond — TalentScotland Webinar: TalentScotland is running webinars and tutorials to help Scottish based SMEs to understand and navigate the changes in the UK immigration system. This session will particularly focus on an overview of the new UK immigration system; who is exempt from sponsorship; why and when companies will need a sponsor licence; what actions you can take; potential costs and time associated with the process; brief overview of Skilled Worker sponsorship duties and additional business immigration support and guidance available from TalentScotland. Two times are currently available: Tuesday 9th February 2021: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM GMT and Wednesday 10th March 2021: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM GMT

Scotland Coach Operators – COVID-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund: This Fund has been established to provide financial support for Scottish based businesses in the coach operators sector critical to Scotland’s tourism economy.  The fund will be open for applications from 12pm on Tuesday 16 February 2021 until 5pm on Tuesday 23 February 2021. Find out more here.

The Visitor Attractions Support Fund: This Fund has been established to provide financial support to Scottish businesses in the attractions sector that have been severely affected by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic—to help keep them in business while restrictions on opening and travel are still in place, and to support them to prepare for reopening in 2021 when restrictions are lifted. Businesses which meet all the eligibility criteria are invited to submit an application form from 12pm on Thursday 11 February 2021 until 5pm on Thursday 18 February 2021. Find out more and see if you’re eligible here.

Self-caterers: finding planning for 2021 and beyond impossible? Here is some help — Webinar: VisitScotland and the ASSC have worked together, using the STERG (Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group) Scenario Planning Toolkit to highlight key considerations for small and medium sized self-caterers planning for the different scenarios Scottish tourism may face through 2021 and beyond. This workshop is designed to inspire you with ideas as you plan for the next 12 to 24 months. Find out more and book here.

Kickstart - Businesses offering Fewer Than 30 Opportunities Can Now Apply: The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers to create job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit. You no longer need a minimum of 30 job placements to apply directly for a grant. Find out more and see how to apply here.

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