Business support during the coronavirus emergency

Business Gateway East Dunbartonshire and the Council are continuing to offer support to businesses and enterprises affected by the ongoing pandemic.

Please note, we are currently experiencing a high volume of calls and e-mail enquiries, and would ask you make use of online links to access information (see below).

We are currently awaiting details from the Scottish Government on future business support schemes and these will be provided as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience and understanding in the meantime.

You can access additional advice and updates by visiting the local business support information hub - www.businessworks.scot

For information on funding sources and support for businesses, visit https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/coronavirus-advice and www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder

Scottish Government Taxi and Private Hire Driver Support Fund

The purpose of this fund is to provide a one-off grant payment of £1,500 to licensed taxi or private hire car drivers. To be eligible you must meet all the following criteria:

  • You have been licensed as a taxi/private hire driver in East Dunbartonshire for the period 9 October 2020 to at least 31 January 2021 (please note if your licence was suspended on or before 31 December 2020 and it remains suspended you are not eligible for a grant under this scheme)
  • Up to 31 December 2020, you have experienced a loss of income as a taxi or private hire driver (50% of your turnover, compared with 2019) and incurred overhead costs and expenses
  • You are/have been working or available for work as a taxi/private hire driver up to 31 December 2020
  • You have not breached any wider COVID-19 regulations or requirements prior to local restrictions (for example received a Fixed Penalty Notice)
  • You have not applied to any other local authority for the same grant.

Please DO NOT contact the Council to check eligibility or the progress of applications.

If you are eligible to apply you must do so using the online application form. Please do not e-mail or post information to the Council.

Click HERE to fill in the online application form.

Please note, the guidance, criteria and application questions for the Taxi and Private Hire Driver Support Fund are set by the Scottish Government. Councils are administering the fund on behalf of the Scottish Government. Any enquiries in relation to the objectives of the fund should be directed to the Scottish Government and not East Dunbartonshire Council. 

Payment to an eligible applicant will be made within a maximum four-week period from date of receipt of a fully-complete application that contains all relevant supporting information required and where all the eligibility criteria has been met. Incomplete applications will not be processed.

Applicants who are not successful will be notified. See the application form for details of the appeals process.

Please do not use the Taxi and Private Hire Driver Support Fund application process or the Covid19BusinessSupport@eastdunbarton.gov.uk e-mail address to submit any enquiries relating to ongoing or potential driver licence applications, ongoing licence appeals or suspensions.

Please ensure you have fully completed the form and submitted any required information/documentation otherwise your application cannot be considered.

Local Authority Discretionary Fund

Funding is being made available by the Scottish Government for local authorities to provide support for eligible businesses.

The overall aim of this fund is to mitigate the short-term financial challenges being experienced by businesses adversely impacted by restrictions and regulations introduced since October 2020 to control the spread of COVID-19. 

We are currently developing a grant programme which will use this funding to support small businesses within the East Dunbartonshire area and expect it to be launched in February.

We understand businesses are anxious to access support where possible, but it is not necessary to contact officers directly to enquire about the fund nor to enquire through the Covid19BusinessSupport e-mail address. This address is intended for applications and appeals.

We will provide an update as soon as more information becomes available.

In the meantime, for details of other funding sources and support for businesses, visit https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/coronavirus-advice and www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder

Strategic Framework Business Fund

Please note, anyone who has already applied and received funding from the Strategic Framework need not reapply. Any further payments will be made automatically in alignment with the relevant Level.

As of 1 January 2021 there is no longer an upper limit on future payments for any eligible business operating multiple premises. Businesses applying for the first time should submit individual applications to each relevant local authority for all relevant premises in that area. 

The purpose of this grant - linked to Scotland’s Strategic Framework - is to provide (from 2 November 2020 onwards) support to specific businesses closed or directly impacted by law, in the form of:

  • Business Temporary Closure Fund - a grant of £2,000 or £3,000 (depending on rateable value) for businesses required to close by law, payable every four weeks in arrears for the duration protective measures are in place
     
  • Business Restrictions Fund - a grant of £1,400 or £2,100 (depending on rateable value) for businesses that remain open, but are specifically required to modify their operations by protective measures, payable every four weeks in arrears for the duration measures are in place. This means that your business is legally required to close earlier than normal, for example, not that you have to adopt physical distancing or that the demand for your products or services has been reduced because of the pandemic or other restrictions which impact on individuals and communities.

Please note - you can apply for a grant for each of your affected premises (where applicable).

To apply, please fill in this online application form

If you are unable to apply online, please e-mail Covid19BusinessSupport@eastdunbarton.gov.uk or call 0141 578 8530.

Top-Up Funding

Scottish Government Hospitality Sector Top-Up Payment; Retail Sector Top-Up Payment; and Leisure Sector Top-Up Fund

This financial support will offer one-off additional grant support for eligible businesses closed and therefore directly impacted by protective measures from 26 December 2020 at Level 4 of the Strategic Framework, subject to the core requirement that they have applied for and are entitled to a Level 4 payment from the Strategic Framework Business Fund in January 2021.

For hospitality businesses this provides:

  • A one-off grant of £25,000 for all hospitality businesses with a rateable value of £51,001 or more;
  • A one-off grant of £6,000 for hospitality and hotel businesses with a rateable value of up to and including £51,000.

Please note, this payment will be made per eligible premises, with no limit on the number of premises that a business has. Self-catering and B&B premises are not included and will not receive that hospitality top-up.

For retail and leisure businesses (which include indoor gyms and equivalents) this provides:

  • A one-off grant of £9,000 for all relevant businesses with a rateable value of £51,001 or more;
  • A one-off grant of £6,000 for relevant businesses with a rateable value of up to and including £51,000.

Please note, this payment will be made per eligible premises, with no limit on the number of premises that a business has.

Please also note - businesses must apply through the Strategic Framework Business Fund first and then they will be assessed for eligibility for ‘top-up’ funding. If you qualify for Strategic Framework Business Funding this does not automatically mean you will be eligible for a ‘top-up’ payment.

Please do not contact the Council to enquire about eligibility for ‘top-up’ funding. We are liaising with the Scottish Government, which is in the process of finalising all guidance and criteria. If you are eligible for ‘top-up’ funding, your payment will be made in due course. ‘Top-up’ payments are likely to be made as stand-alone payments and separate to the next Strategic Framework payment. This is due to the timing of final grant guidance. 

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

HM Treasury has announced that the self-employed will receive 80% of average trading profits for November, December and January, through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme - with a further grant to follow, covering February to April.

The online service for the third grant is available. You must make your claim on or before 29 January 2021.

Visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme to check your eligibility and for more information.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

HM Treasury has announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until the end of April 2021.

This means that furloughed employees will receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, for the next five months.

Visit https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-extends-furlough-and-loan-schemes for more information.

COVID-19 Public Transport Retrofit Fund

A fund aimed at supporting public transport operators during the coronavirus pandemic is available. The COVID-19 Public Transport Retrofit Fund is part of the larger COVID-19 Public Transport Mitigation Fund, announced by Transport Scotland.

The fund supports the installation of measures needed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission on vehicles, and aims to improve capacity and increase public confidence.

Bus, community transport, taxi and private hire operators are eligible. Visit https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/grants-and-loans/covid-19-public-transport-retrofit-fund/

Guide for Home Businesses

East Dunbartonshire Economic Partnership (EDEP) has produced A Guide for Home Businesses, containing useful information and links to further guidance for local entrepreneurs and anyone thinking about starting a business from home. The production of this Guide fulfils Action 21 of East Dunbartonshire’s Economic Development Strategy. The aim is to make it easier for home business owners, or those looking to start a new home-based business, to access the information they may need.

The Guide also offers potential business owners details of regulations that they need to comply with and can help them get in touch with the relevant Council services.

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

The UK Government has a scheme for small and medium sized employers - with fewer than 250 employees - to recover Statutory Sick Pay payments made to employees.

Employers seeking more information on the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme - covering eligible periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020 - can visit www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-back-statutory-sick-pay-paid-to-employees-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19 and www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-back-statutory-sick-pay-paid-to-employees-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19

Bounce Back Loans

The UK Government's Bounce Back Loans scheme can provide loans of up to £50,000. Visit https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/coronavirus-advice/sources-of-funding

Future Fund

The Future Fund Portal is open for applications, providing convertible loans - ranging from £125,000 to £5 million - to innovative UK companies, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors. Visit www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-schemes/future-fund/

Business Gateway workshops

For the time being, Business Gateway (BG) East Dunbartonshire workshops will be run remotely.

Visit https://www.bgateway.com/events?region=east-dunbartonshire&keyword for more information.

In addition, one-to-one BG meetings can be held over the phone, FaceTime, Skype, Cisco Webex and Zoom.

All BG East Dunbartonshire networking groups - ED-Net, ED-Netday and East Dunbartonshire Women in Business - are now being delivered remotely.

For more information, visit www.businessworks.scot or www.bgateway.com/local-offices/east-dunbartonshire/local-support, e-mail bgateway@eastdunbarton.gov.uk or check out Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You can call Business Gateway East Dunbartonshire on 0141 578 8530.

* The Scottish Business Resilience Centre is also organising online webinar events. Follow its latest news on Twitter - https://twitter.com/SBRC_Scotland - or get in touch via www.sbrcentre.co.uk

Environmental Health and Trading Standards Guidance

Environmental Health and Trading Standards colleagues are happy to discuss current guidelines with business owners based in the area. The contact details are:

Alternatively, you can call 0300 1234510.