Coronavirus Update: 8 September

After a concerning week for much of Scotland, there’s a lot of uncertainty for many businesses and enterprises. There are several funding packages on the horizon though:

Kickstart Scheme: The government has launched its fund to create high quality 6-month work placements aimed at those aged 16 to 24 who are on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long term unemployment. Funding available for each job will cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions. Check eligibility and apply here.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise: HIE is to invest £3 million in tourism destination management organisations over the next three years as part of the agency’s support for the sector’s recovery. Read the article here.

Independent Cinema Recovery and Resilience Fund: Funding to bridge the immediate financial gap faced by independently owned cinemas during reopening and operation in the short-term. The application deadline is 12 noon on Monday, 5 October. Find out more here.

Funding for Culture and Heritage Sector: The culture and heritage sectors are to benefit from a funding package from the Scottish Government to protect jobs and help the industry weather the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Read more here.

First Port Social Entrepreneurs Fund – Build It: Build It is for social entrepreneurs who have tried and tested a social enterprise idea and want to turn it into their full-time job. You can apply for up to £20,000 to fund a single salary if your social enterprise idea is already off the ground and has been trading for two years or less.

They will consider funding up to a further £5,000 for additional essential costs, such as hiring other staff. The next deadline is the 29 September. Find out more and how to apply here.

The Sustainable Agriculture Capital Grant Scheme: Ensuring farmers and crofters can also play a key role in a green recovery, a new fund will open for applications later this month. The Sustainable Agriculture Capital Grant Scheme (SACGS) will run for five weeks, offering grants of up to £20,000 for farmers and crofters to purchase new equipment. Read more here.

There's also some opportunities coming up for creatives:

Winter’s Last Call for Proposals: Winter’s Last from the Taibhsear Collective explores Scottish folk traditions and community practice, and is seeking proposals to create a weekend of diversity and dynamism with a focus on Scottish folklore, folk practice, crafts and tradition. The event will take place in January at The Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh. Deadline: 30 September. Find out more here.

The Rockfield Centre Call for Proposals: The centre is looking for tutors, workshop leaders, and creatives interested in working with them to submit a proposal of something they would like to deliver to our audiences, be that music, art classes, textiles, poetry, yoga, dance, circus skills! Location: Argyll and Bute; deadline: 1 January. Read more here.

And in other news:

FSB Event—Jason Leitch talks Coronavirus and Scotland's Small Businesses: Scotland’s National Clinical Director Jason Leitch talks COVID-19 and the implications for small business with FSB in this special webinar. Small businesses from across Scotland will have the opportunity to ask questions of the public health expert looking at how the rules apply in their business and how to keep staff, customers and themselves safe. Tue, 8 September, 10:00 – 11:00. Book here.

Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Economic Indicator Survey:

This survey provides a collective opportunity for the Chamber Network to highlight the challenges and issues facing business communities in Scotland to political decisionmakers in Holyrood and Westminster. Any feedback that you can provide on current trading conditions and your outlook going forward will support continuing efforts on the above. Take the survey here.

Zero Waste Scotland Food Waste Reduction Business Support: This online support can help your business save money as well as keep food away from landfills. Find out more here.

The team has also launched the Food waste reduction pilot e-module, free for any Scottish food and drink business until the end of September and helps businesses to identify where they could cut costs by cutting food waste. It’s in the development phase so any feedback is welcome.

Circular Arts Network: this is a platform where businesses can donate their "waste" material for use by the arts sector. The website is very easy to navigate and donating spare materials will help establish a circular and sustainable arts sector in Scotland. Find out more here.

Business Gateway Five Top Tips for Retaining Customers After Lockdown: Winning new customers is hard work which means retaining them is critical. There’s five tips to help you put customer retention at the heart of your business in this article.

SCVO Part of the #NeverMoreNeeded Campaign: SCVO is asking staff and volunteers from charities, social enterprises, community groups and voluntary organisations who could start or who already are sharing their experiences through blogs, diaries and articles to start using #NeverMoreNeeded when sharing on social media. The campaign is to help remind government, funders, donors and the general public of how essential the voluntary sector is now and in the future.

If your organisation has a story to tell, you can also contact Third Force News, where the team have been reporting on how the ongoing pandemic and lockdown measures are affecting the sector for months.

GrowBiz Roll Out Support: Businesses across the Cairngorms National Park are to benefit from the package of specialist enterprise support delivered by GrowBiz. Read the full story here.

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