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Business & Licensing - Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates

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Home   Coronavirus (COVID-19)   Business & Licensing - Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates

Business & Licensing - Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates

Please note applications for Self-Employed Hardship Fund can be found here

Update, 18 May

Business Grant Funding - Phase 2

Phase 2 of the Business Grant Funding Scheme will commence on 5 May 2020.  The changes do not significantly alter the existing eligibility criteria, instead they expand the ways in which eligible businesses can access the Small Business Grant Fund (SMGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF), under two main categories; 

  • Ratepayers with multiple properties; Following the initial one-off grant awarded though either Fund, each additional property for which the applicant pays rates & which also meets the eligibility criteria will qualify for a grant equal to 75% of the one-off grant.

For the SBFG the first qualifying property will be eligible for £10,000, and qualifying properties thereafter eligible for £7,500. For the RHLGF the sums will be £25,000 and £18,750 respectively.

  • Cumulative Rateable Value; ratepayers that hold one or more properties in the Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure sector whose rateable values do not exceed £18,000 and whose cumulative rateable value is between £35,001 and £51,000 will now be eligible for the SBGF for each of their qualifying Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure properties.

Dowload and complete an application below:

Once complete, please send the completed form to businessgrants@north-ayrshire.gov.uk.

Update, 12 May

Scottish Government Coronavirus Business Support Fund

Grant support is now available to help business deal with the impact of COVID-19. The purpose of these grants is to help protect jobs, prevent business closure and promote economic recovery.

The Business Support Grant Fund offers :
Small Business Support Grant

For small businesses in receipt of Small Business Bonus Scheme relief or Rural Relief on 17 March 2020.

You can also get this grant if you received Nursery Relief, Business Growth Accelerator Relief, Disabled Relief, Fresh Start, Discretionary Sports Relief or Enterprise Areas Relief on this date but are eligible for the Small Business Bonus Scheme.

Retail, Hospitality, Leisure Support Grant

For retail, hospitality and leisure business ratepayers with a rateable value between £18,001 and up to and including £51,000.

Multiple retail, hospitality or leisure properties

From 5 May 2020, if you have multiple properties and are not eligible for the Small Business Bonus Scheme, you may still be eligible for a Small Business Support Grant for any retail, hospitality or leisure properties with a rateable value up to £18,000 each. All of your properties must have a combined rateable value of between £35,001 and £51,000.

Multiple properties

From 5 May 2020, if you have more than one property, you can apply for a grant for each eligible property.

This means you may be able to get a £10,000 or £25,000 grant for one property. Then each additional property may be eligible for a Small Business Support Grant of £7,500, or a Retail, Hospitality, Leisure Support Grant of £18,500.

For multiple properties you need to make a separate application for each eligible property.

Self-catering accommodation and caravans

Self-catering accommodation and caravans are eligible for these grants if they:

  • are a primary source of income for the ratepayer (one third or more), and
  • were let out for 140 days or more in financial year 2019-20

More information, including the types of businesses who qualify, can be found on the Scottish Government website

Update, 29 April

Newly Self Employed Hardship Fund

The Newly Self Employed Hardship Fund is a new support mechanism, funded by the Scottish Government, designed and administered by Scottish Local Authorities, to support the newly self employed who are not covered by already announced support packages.

In order to qualify for support (£2,000 Grant) you need to have become self-employed since 6th April, 2019 and not yet recorded a full years Tax Self Assessment submission.

In order to submit your application you will need to submit a Newly Self Employed Hardship Fund application form which can be downloaded from the Council website with supporting information. A PDF version of the application form is available here

North Ayrshire Council are working to a 10 working day turnaround from receipt of a fully compliant submission to Grant payment. 

You will need to scan or photo and attach the following items with your application:

  • Photographic proof of identity (for example a valid passport or driving licence)
  • Proof of address (for example a recent council tax bill or utility bill) 
  • Evidence of active trading up to March 2020:

        Three forms of evidence:

  • Bank statements (business or personal) covering 3 months to March 2020 showing income and outgoings from self-employment (Mandatory requirement) 

And any 2 of 

  • A supplier or reseller trade account (active)
  • Valid business insurance
  • HMRC Unique Taxpayer Reference (if registered).  If not yet registered, copy of correspondence/other details showing registration is being sought/or provide further details to explain position.
  • VAT Registration Number
  • Marketing materials for your business, eg business website, active social media – provide web links
  • Other evidence of business activity to support your claim

Applications and  enquiries relating to this support should be directed to NSEHardshipFund@North-Ayrshire.gov.uk

We have also added an FAQ to our website  

Update, 16 April

THE range of businesses that will be financially supported during the Coronavirus pandemic has been extended.

Last month, the Government has set up two funds – a £10,000 grant for business with rateable value up to £18,000 and a one-off grant of £25,000 to retail, leisure or hospitality industry with a rateable value between £18,001 and £50,999 -  to mitigate for loss of earnings during the current situation. 

These applications are being administered by North Ayrshire Council and hundreds of local businesses have already received funding. 

The scope of that support is now being widened. 

Changes include: 

  • Extend eligibility for the £10,000 Small Business Grant to ratepayers with multiple properties with individual rateable values under £18,000 but whose cumulative rateable value is between £35,000 and £51,000. 
  • Allow small sports clubs that are eligible for the Small Business Bonus Scheme but in receipt of discretionary sports relief to be eligible for the £10,000 Grant Scheme 
  • Allow small properties in Enterprise Areas that are eligible for the Small Business Bonus Scheme but in receipt of Enterprise Areas relief to be eligible for the £10,000 Grant Scheme. 
  • Arms’ Length External Organisations will also be made eligible for the Grant Funding Scheme 

Public bodies remain excluded from the process. 

Further support to businesses will include a second phase of the Small Business Grant Scheme that will be open to applications from Tuesday, 5 May. 

This is specifically aimed at businesses with more than one property. They are currently eligible for a single grant under the new scheme will be able to apply for grants for all of their properties. This will make available Small Business Grants of £7,500 and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants of £18,750 (ie, 75% of the current grants) on any additional qualifying properties that a ratepayer may have. 

Additional funding is also being made available to protect self-employed people and viable micro and SME businesses in distress due to COVID. This fund will be channelled through local authorities and enterprise agencies to target newly self-employed people and businesses who are ineligible for other Scottish Government or UK Government schemes. This is likely to be in place at the end of the month.

Update, 15 April

Information for Licence-Holders and Applicants

We have Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for current licence holders and anyone planning to apply for a new Licence.

This guidance explains the changes we are making to our Licensing services to help minimise the disruption caused to licence holders by Covid-19.

It includes changes introduced by the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act. It may change again in line with developing Government guidance and legislation so we will review this Guidance regularly.

Download a copy of the FAQs (PDF, 232kb).

Update, 7 April 

Business Grants

Local businesses have received over £2.5 million in grant funding to help support them during the Coronavirus crisis.

We are helping administer the process on behalf of the Scottish Government.

And within the first fortnight, the Council has helped push through 235 applications providing much-needed support to North Ayrshire firms during this testing time.

Two types of grant are available to ratepayers:

•£10,000 grant to ratepayers of businesses in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme or Rural Relief. Business with a rateable value up to £18,000 are eligible. You can also get this grant if you applied for Nursery Relief or Disabled Relief but are eligible for the Small Business Bonus Scheme.

•Retail, hospitality and leisure business ratepayers with a rateable value between £18,001 - £50,999 can apply for a one-off grant of £25,000.

So far, the Council has approved 213 applications for £10,000 grants, with 23 for the larger amount

They are continuing to process applications with more set to be approved over the coming days.

Update, 6 April

Licensing FAQs 

We have made available Frequently Asked Questions for current licence holders and anyone planning to apply for a new Licence. It explains the changes we are making to our Licensing services to help minimise the disruption caused to licence holders by Covid-19.

This guidance includes changes introduced by the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act. It may change in line with developing Government guidance and legislation. Download a copy of the FAQs (PDF, 232kb).

Update, 3 April

We've uploaded a couple of documents which provide comprehensive details of the financial support available to businesses/providers and community and residents.

Communities: https://www.north-ayrshire.gov.uk/Documents/CorporateServices/Finance/support-to-communities-and-residents.pdf

Businesses: https://www.north-ayrshire.gov.uk/Documents/CorporateServices/Finance/support-to-businesses-and-providers.pdf

Update, 30 March

Renewal of Licences under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 and other statutes about Licensing

All Licences are extended to 31July 2020. If you have a Licence which is due to expire before then, you do not have to do anything. The Council will consider later if the extension should be longer. 

This extension does not apply to Licences and requirements under the legislation about alcohol (such as "Personal Licences"). 

If you have a Licence which you want to renew to cover a period after 31 July 2020: 

  • you should lodge a Renewal Application with the Council's Licensing Office before that date - you do not have to do anything before the original Expiry Date printed on your Licence
  • if you lodge your Renewal Application before 31 July 2020 you will keep your Licence for as long as it takes the Council to deal with your Application. 
Car Inspection

Taxis and Private Hire Cars normally need to be inspected at the Council garage in Kilwinning every 12 months (or, if the car is 5 years old or older, every 6 months).

The inspection date has been extended to 3 months beyond the normal inspection date, so long as the car has a current or extended M.O.T. certificate. The Council will consider at later date if the extension period requires to be longer. 

Licensing Office

The Licensing Office at Cunninghame House in Irvine is currently closed. Staff are still working to process Licence Applications. 

Please only make Applications which are essential. 

You can download Application forms from our licences and permits page on this website together with information on each kind of Licence. 

If you have a particular question please email: licensing@north-ayrshire.gov.uk We are currently unable to accept telephone calls. 

We will respond as soon as we can but due to staffing limitations we cannot guarantee to answer as quickly as usual.

or want to apply for a licence and need help, please email us before you go ahead.

When you have downloaded, completed and signed the form, you should: 

  • scan the signed form and documents as PDF files
  • send an email with attachments.

Taxi/PHC Drivers need to show us: 

  • their Driving Licence  (both the card part and the DVLA download)
  • either a Passport or Birth Certificate (required for new applications only)

At present BACS is the only option available to pay a licence fee. Please e mail us to request the required details to make a payment. Please do not post a cheque or hand-deliver the application with cash.

Update, 27 March

Grants available for self-employed

North Ayrshire Council is hopeful that the new grants for self-employed people will add further protection to the local economy. 

The Chancellor announced new measures on Tuesday which will enable self-employed people to apply for funding to support them over the next three months. 

This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next three months. This may be extended if needed.

Councillor Alex Gallagher, Cabinet Member for Economy, said: “The announcement of the grants for the self-employed was most welcome. It had obviously been a massive concern to the many who have been placed in this position. The priority right now is for us all to stay safe and for us all, collectively, to work together so we can overcome this terrible situation we find ourselves in."

The full details are available below:

Update, 24 March

Scottish Government Coronavirus Business Support Fund

Grant support is now available to help business deal with the impact of COVID-19.

The purpose of these one off grants is to help:

  • protect jobs
  • prevent business closure
  • promote economic recovery

Two types of grant are available to ratepayers:

  • £10,000 grant to ratepayers of businesses in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme or Rural Relief. Business with a rateable value up to £18,000 are eligible. You can also get this grant if you applied for Nursery Relief or Disabled Relief but are eligible for the Small Business Bonus Scheme.
  • Retail, hospitality and leisure business ratepayers with a rateable value between £18,001 - £50,999 can apply for a one-off grant of £25,000.

This grant is being administered by local authorities on behalf of the Scottish Government. Eligible ratepayers should apply to their local authority using the application form (PDF, 754kb or Word, 72kb). If you do not know your rates reference number, complete the application form stating the full address of the business you are applying for.

In order to prevent delays in payment, please send in proof of your business bank account with your application. Either a scan of your most recent bank statement (not more than 3 months old) or a screen shot of your account if you have online banking. This should detail the:

  • account name
  • sort code
  • account number
  • name of your bank

Please note: if completing the form with a mobile phone, we suggest saving the pdf version and using the Adobe fill & sign app.

Once complete, please send the completed form to businessgrants@north-ayrshire.gov.uk.

More information can also be found at https://www.mygov.scot/non-domestic-rates-coronavirus/

Update, 23 March

Get online continuity support for your business

Get help to ensure continuity for your business during these unprecedented times. The https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/ website offers advice and tools to help.

Our business disruption checklist for example provides a range of low-risk, low-cost actions you can take across three areas of business operations - business planning, employees and finance. A separate checklist and action plan to support businesses in the tourism sector is also available offering advice and support specifically to that sector.

If it's concerns about your supply chain that's keeping you awake at night, we can also help with supply chain mapping to try and minimise the impact of #COVID19 on your business.

Business Gateway also offers advice on business continuity planning, including a free webinar.

These are just some of the tools available via the website to offer support to businesses - visit the website to discover the full range of support.

Update, 20 March

Business support

In the current circumstances our Business teams are ensuring that we are supplying our businesses with as much relevant information and support as possible. 

The Scottish Government confirmed additional resources to support businesses in Scotland. Information about the support being provided is available for you to review. 

It is also anticipated that all information relating to this additional support will be available via the existing Business Helpline number: 0300 303 0660. 

Business Gateway also have information on the Coronavirus available.

The Scottish Government has recently announced a range of financial packages to support local business during the COVID-19 pandemic including:

• 100% rate relief for 2020/21 for certain sectors (Sectors still to be fully defined)

• 1.6% rates relief for all properties

• Grants of £10,000 for small business including rural relief cases and nurseries

• Grants of £25,000 for the hospitality sector with a Rateable Value between £18,000 and £51,000.

The Council is currently working through the detail of this and waiting on further guidance from the Scottish Government in some areas.

The priority is to pay the grants to those eligible businesses followed by applying the relevant rates relief which will require changes to our non-domestic rates software system and therefore and may take slightly longer to implement.

The Council is doing everything it can to provide these support packages to businesses as quickly as possible.

Further updates will be provided to keep all businesses informed.

Licensing applications

The Licensing Office at Cunninghame House in Irvine is not dealing with the public face-to-face, but staff are still working to process applications.

You can download licence applications forms from this website.

When you have downloaded, completed and signed the form you should then either:

  • Post it with photocopies of any documents you need (drivers need to show us their Driving Licence and either a Passport or Birth Certificate). Send photocopies - not originals.

or

  • Scan the signed form and documents as PDF files and send an email

You can pay the licence fee either by telephoning us with your card details or by posting a cheque (do not hand-deliver it with cash).

If you have a particular question, please email: licensing@north-ayrshire.gov.uk or telephone: 01294 324305. We will try to answer as soon as we can, but due to staffing limitations we cannot guarantee to answer as quickly as usual.