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Business (COVID-19)
Home   Coronavirus (COVID-19)   Business (COVID-19)

Business (COVID-19)

There is a range of support and advise available to North Ayrshire businesses impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Details of each are included below:

North Ayrshire Council Covid-19 Discretionary Fund

Business Transition Fund

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Top-Up Grants

Guidance for sectoral businesses

Non Domestic Rates: Retail, Hospitality, Leisure and Aviation (RHLA) Relief

General Business Support

North Ayrshire Council Covid-19 Discretionary Fund

The Discretionary Business Fund aims to provide a grant to local businesses that are experiencing immediate financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions and regulations but have not been able to access the Strategic Framework Business Fund or other business grant funds provided by the Scottish Government. This fund aims to assist businesses that have been without financial support since October 2020.

The discretionary fund provides funding based on the number of employees within an eligible business as follows:

No of employees

     Value of Grant

1-10

       £4k

11- 20

       £10k

21- 30

       £20k

31 +

       £25k

Businesses who have already received Discretionary Fund Payment of £2,000 will not need to reapply and will automatically receive a top up to reflect tiers above.

The following categories of businesses can apply to the Fund

  • Limited Companies (including Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations and social enterprises)
  • Sole Traders
  • Trusts, Partnerships
  • Community Interest Companies
  • Freelancers 

To be eligible for the fund businesses must meet the following criteria:

  • Be based/headquartered in North Ayrshire.
  • Have less than 250 employees.
  • Not be eligible for any other funding introduced since 31 October 2020 by the Scottish Government, including any new schemes of support which may be announced by the Scottish Government before the end of March 2021.
  • Not be connected to a tax haven, as set out in the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No 2) Act 2020.
  • Can demonstrate a detrimental impact on trade from COVID-19 restrictions (you may be asked to evidence this).
  • Have a business bank account into which grant payments will be made (for self-employed people, discretion will be applied as long as there is clear evidence of trading from personal bank statements provided).
  • Can provide evidence of active trading in the period before restrictions came into place on 9 October 2020.
  • If self-employed, can confirm that at least 50% of their annual income is derived from self-employment. 

Businesses which are NOT eligible for the fund include:

  • Any business in administration, insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made.
  • Any business in receipt of an enforcement notice as a result of breaching COVID-19 Regulations.

If you have been awarded other funding:

Any business which is eligible for any of the schemes below, will be INELIGIBLE for Discretionary Fund and cannot apply to this fund:

  • Strategic Framework Business Fund
  • Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund
  • Mobile Close Contact Services, Hairdresser & Driving Instructor Support Fund
  • Temporary Restrictions Fund for Childcare Providers
  • Creative Industries Business Support Fund
  • Events Industry Support Fund
  • Travel Agents Fund
  • Tour Operators Fund
  • Visitor Attractions Fund
  • Brewer Support Fund
  • Destination Management Organisations Support Fund
  • Grassroots Music Venue Stabilisation Fund
  • Indoor Football Centres Fund
  • Museums Recovery and Resilience Fund Top up
  • Outdoor Tourism Sector Recommissioning Fund
  • Travelling Show People Support Fund
  • Wedding Sector Support Fund

Please note this list of funds is not exhaustive. For a full list of funds, please see findbusinesssupport.gov.uk 

Applying for NAC Discretionary Fund

Applications to the COVID-19 Discretionary Fund are via an editable PDF or WORD document, which must be submitted by email. There are no online or postal applications.

To apply for the COVID-19 Discretionary Fund – Staff Support Element you will need to download this 

 Before you complete your Application Form, you should read this carefully.

You will also need to submit Supporting Documents, which we suggest you look out in advance.

This includes:

  • Copy of proof of identity such as a valid passport or driving licence, including provisional driving licence.
  • Proof of business address (e.g. full page of a recent Council Tax bill, Rates bill, utility bill or rental agreement. If home based or mobile this is your home address.)
  • Businesses with more than 10 Full Time Equivalents may be asked to provide proof of employee numbers via information from their last Payroll run and an extract from their HMRC online account
  • PDF copies of TWO bank statements, showing business income and related outgoing expenditure, one from January , February or March 2020 and the other from Dec 2020, Jan 2021 or Feb 2021.  This must be the account grant payments should be made to.
  • You can request a PDF version of your statement from your bank or through online banking if you have it. If a PDF copy cannot be provided, a clear/legible photograph of the first full page of the bank statement will be acceptable, but you may be required to provide further evidence.

PLUS, depending on the legal status of your organisation:

  • Limited Company - Companies House Certificate of Incorporation
  • Sole Trader/Self-employed/Freelancer - A recent screenshot or photo of your business tax account page from the HMRC portal clearly showing your full name and Unique Taxpayer Reference number. OR another form of official communication from HMRC with your name and UTR shown
  • Partnership- Partnership agreement AND HMRC registration
  • SCIO, Social Enterprise, Community Interest Company, Trust- Constitution documents, HMRC registration VAT registration document 

You will also be required to confirm:

  • Your UTR/Companies House Registration Number
  • Number of employees (including yourself)
  • The rateable value of your premises if applicable
  • The date your business started trading
  • Turnover figure for your business 2019/20 & projected turnover 2020/21
  • Your bank account details (for BACS transfer where appropriate) 

Business Transition Fund

North Ayrshire has set up a new Business Transition Fund that supports businesses who are not able, due to immediate financial pressures, to adapt to new ways of working or to make investment to remain competitive.

 The impact of restrictions has left many businesses with inadequate financial power to adapt to the changing landscape particularly when it comes to digital and new processes.

This fund will be used when a digital or green solution is identified to adapt to new ways of working and will help cover immediate financial impact.

Up to £20k for businesses who are affected financially by the pandemic and limits their ability to trade as a result e.g. implementation of new systems, new ways of working, new machinery, investment in green technology to reduce costs etc.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Business must be micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (250 employees or fewer) and the self-employed.
  • Must be able to present robust evidence (e.g. profit and loss accounts, invoices and receipts, details of contracts lost, cancelled booking diaries/work schedules, cancelled customer bookings) to show that income has been negatively affected by Covid Restrictions
  • Must be able to demonstrate the impact and immediate need for investment and associated financial restrictions placed on business.
  • Must provide details and evidence of a business bank account (in the form of an uploaded bank statement) into which grant payments will be made (in the case of self-employed discretion will be applied as long as there is clear evidence of trading from the personal bank statements provided);
  • Business premises (where applicable) must be registered for non-domestic rates. Businesses that pay rates through their landlords rather than directly must provide evidence of this.
  • Business has not breached wider COVID regulations/requirements leading to enforcement action.
  • Open to Limited Companies (including Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations and social enterprises), Sole Traders, Trusts, Partnerships, Community Interest Companies, freelancers or the self-employed.
  • Non premise-based businesses will be required to provide evidence to demonstrate proof of identity (e.g. passport) and address (e.g. Council tax bill, utility bill);
  • Businesses will be required to provide evidence of active trading in the period before restrictions came into place on 9 October 2020.
  • Self-employed will be required to confirm that self-employment makes up at least 50% of their income from employment.
  • Business is not connected to a tax haven, as set out in the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No 2) Act 2020.

Applying for NAC Business Transition Fund

This Fund seeks to support businesses with Green & Digital projects as part of their Covid recovery plans.

Applications to the Fund are via editable PDF or WORD document, which must be submitted by email. There are no online or postal applications.

To apply for the COVID-19 Discretionary Fund – Transition Fund you will need to download this

You will also need to submit Supporting Documents, which we suggest you look out in advance.

This includes:

  • Copy of proof of identity such as a valid passport or driving licence, including provisional driving licence.
  • Proof of business address (e.g. full page of a recent Council Tax bill, Rates bill, utility bill or rental agreement. If home based or mobile this is your home address.
  • You can request a PDF version of your statement from your bank or through online banking if you have it. If a PDF copy cannot be provided, a clear/legible photograph of the first full page of the bank statement will be acceptable, but you may be required to provide further evidence.

PLUS, depending on the legal status of your organisation:

  • Limited Company - Companies House Certificate of Incorporation
  • Sole Trader/Self-employed/Freelancer - A recent screenshot or photo of your business tax account page from the HMRC portal clearly showing your full name and Unique Taxpayer Reference number. OR another form of official communication from HMRC with your name and UTR shown
  • Partnership- Partnership agreement AND HMRC registration
  • SCIO, Social Enterprise, Community Interest Company, Trust - Constitution documents, HMRC registration VAT registration document 

You may will also be required to confirm:

  • Your UTR/Companies House Registration Number
  • Number of employees (including yourself)
  • The date your business started trading
  • Turnover figure for your business 2019/20 & projected turnover 2020/21
  • Your bank account details (for BACS transfer where appropriate) 

Submitting your form & supporting documents

You should email your completed forms to NACDiscretionaryFund@north-ayrshire.gov.uk 

For enquiries about the COVID-19 Discretionary Fund, email: NACDiscretionaryFund@north-ayrshire.gov.uk  

Small Accommodation Providers Paying Council Tax Fund (SAP-CTF) - Wave Three

This fund is now closed

Non Domestic Rates: Retail, Hospitality, Leisure and Aviation (RHLA) Relief

The 100% COVID-19 Retail, Hospitality, Leisure and Aviation (RHLA) relief will be extended for the whole of the 2021-22.

While there are no changes to eligibility from last year, an application will now be required for this relief in 2021-22.

Where the council deems your property eligible based on the information provided, this will be awarded and will appear in your Non-Domestic Rates bill for the Financial Year 2021/22 (subject to the Bill having being issued after the award, otherwise a revised Bill will be re-issued).

An application form is available below: 

Application form (Word, 31kb)

Application form (PDF, 74kb)

Please complete and submit your application by email to businessrates@north-ayrshire.gov.uk

Before submitting your application please read the privacy notice and schedule 1 and 2 of the regulations detailing the class of eligible property.

*Please note it may not be possible to have your relief awarded prior to your annual non domestic rates notice being issued for 2021-22. Once this is awarded you will receive an amended notice confirming your relief.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Top-Up Grants

Local authorities will administer the newly announced top-up grants and will be responsible for delivering the funding to eligible businesses. 

There is no application form for the top-up grants.  They will be administered via the Strategic Framework Business Fund (SFBF).  The Strategic Framework Business Fund closed on 22 March.  The final date for business who have been rejected to appeal is 9 April.

Top-up payments will be issued automatically to eligible applicants with your next four-weekly payment. Please note that some exclusions apply to the top-up grant (including B&B’s, Self-Catering, Caravan and Camping Sites, Funfairs, Theatres, Concert Halls, Sport Stadiums, Conference/Exhibition Centres and Visitor Attractions).

Guidance for Sectoral Businesses

The Scottish Government has published guidance for retailers and manufacturers to consider how people can safely return to work.

Guidance for the construction industry is expected soon.

The documents are among the first for a number of specific sectors. They have been developed in consultation with:

  • business
  • trades unions
  • regulators

They will provide advice on essential equipment and services needed to create the conditions for safer workplaces.

Companies are expected to undertake a robust risk management approach that has been developed and maintained through joint working with employees. This will offer assurances to workers when the time is right to return to work.

Working to the phased approach in the Scottish Government’s route map on easing lockdown, it details the steps required for businesses, acknowledging that some will face more complications when reopening than others, while also considering the impact on employees.

It is also acknowledged that the successful return to business will be highly dependent on positive customer behaviours. Therefore, customer guidance has been published and can also be used by retailers to inform their signage.

In addition, a joint statement by the Scottish Government, Police Scotland, Health and Safety Executive and local authorities has been issued on safe workplaces.

The following guides from the Health and Safety Executive provide useful sources of information:

General Business Support

Visit https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/ to access a range of business support services.

You can access the Scottish Government guidance below:

Coronavirus (COVID-19): manufacturing sector guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): retail sector guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for customers

COVID-19: Scotland’s route map for transitioning through and out of the crisis

Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer work places statement