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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 - Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates

Update, 1 July

B&B Hardship Fund

The purpose of this fund is to provide hardship relief to B&B/small serviced accommodation providers who have not accessed support through other schemes.

These businesses may operate with a personal or joint personal bank account. In addition applications can now be considered from those businesses operating with a business bank account. Cross checks will be carried out to ensure no other COVID-19 support has been received.

We will use the broad VisitScotland designator "Small Serviced Accommodation", which includes:

  • B&Bs
  • other establishments offering bed and breakfast services

Examples of these could be:

  • guest houses
  • farm houses
  • inns
  • restaurants with rooms

The key characteristic is that applicants are bed and breakfast serviced accommodation providers who have not had previous grant support.

Some B&Bs use a digital marketing platform as their primary or only source of independent listing, for example:

  • AirBnB
  • Booking.com
  • a community website

At the discretion of Action Officers, these B&Bs can now be considered eligible for the fund.

 

In this case, Action Officers must be confident the business is operating as a B&B and not property, room or holiday letting.

This fund excludes other types of non-serviced accommodation providers such as self-catering, caravan accommodation

Successful applicants will receive a one-off payment of £3,000.

Applicants cannot be in receipt of other COVID-19 related business grant support. This could include:

  • Non-Domestic Rates Covid Grants
  • Small Business Grants
  • Creative, Tourism and Hospitality Hardship Grants).

Action Officers will cross reference this using available data.

Applicants are permitted to make use of Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and can be in receipt of SEISS.

Receipt of Universal Benefit and other working age state benefits continue as grounds for application rejection.

Individuals must apply in the Local Authority area where the business is located.

To apply, please download and return the following form:

Update, 15 June

B&B owners among latest to be supported in new hardship fund

A new fund has been launched today to reach out to even more businesses affected by the Coronavirus.

The B&B Hardship Fund will support bed and breakfast owners and small serviced accommodation providers, who have not been able to access support through other schemes as a result of their banking status.

This fund excludes other types of non-serviced accommodation providers, such as:

  • self catering
  • caravan accommodation
  • Air BnB

You must apply to the local authority your business is based in. If successful, you will receive a one off payment of £3000.

North Ayrshire Council will administer local applications. We will use the broad VisitScotland designator ‘Small Serviced Accommodation'. This includes B&Bs and other establishments offering bed and breakfast services, such as:

  • guest houses
  • farmhouses
  • inns
  • restaurants with rooms

The key characteristics remain:

  • the use of personal bank account for trading
  • non-claim for other grants
  • bed and breakfast serviced accommodation provision

Update, 8 June

Business Grant Funding Scheme - phase 3

Phase 3 of the Business Grant Funding Scheme will commence on 8 June 2020 and close on 10 July 2020.

If you're a rate payer operating properties in Retail, Hospitality and Leisure, where the cumulative rateable value of all properties held (RHL and non-RHL) is between £35,001 - £500,000, increased from £35,001 - £51,000, you can apply for the Small Business Grant Fund for each of your Retail, Hospitality or Leisure properties.

Tenants or occupiers of premises such as shared office spaces, business incubators and shared industrial units for which the landlord is the registered rate payer may be eligible for a single, one-off £10,000 small business grant.

Eligibility is subject to detailed verification criteria, but irrespective of the use or rateable value of the property. A tenant/occupier may only receive a single grant. 

Dowload and complete an application form:

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

Update, 27 May

Business Grant Funding Scheme - 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:

  • Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF)
  • Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF)

The changes fall 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 and which also meets the eligibility criteria will qualify for a grant equal to 75% of the one off grant.

For the SBGF, 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

Rate payers 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.

Download and complete an application form:

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

Update, 27 May

Guidance published for sectoral businesses

The Scottish Government has published new 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 recently published 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:

You can access the Scottish Government guidance below:

Update, 12 May

Scottish Government Coronavirus Business Support Fund

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

The purpose of these grants is to help:

  • protect jobs
  • prevent business closure
  • promote economic recovery

The Business Support Grant Fund offers a number of different grants.

Small Business Support Grant

This is for small businesses in receipt of Small Business Bonus Scheme Relief or Rural Relief on 17 March 2020.

You can also receive this grant if you received any of the following on this date, but are eligible for the Small Business Bonus Scheme:

  • Nursery Relief
  • Business Growth Accelerator Relief
  • Disabled Relief
  • Fresh Start
  • Discretionary Sports Relief
  • Enterprise Areas Relief
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 receive a £10,000 or £25,000 grant for one property.

Then, each additional property may be eligible for one of the following:

  • a Small Business Support Grant of £7,500
  • 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.

It is 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 of a £2,000 grant, you need to have:

  • become self-employed since 6 April 2019
  • not yet recorded a full years Tax Self Assessment submission

You will need to submit an application:

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 photograph) 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:

In addition, you must provide three forms of evidence.

You must provide your bank statements (business or personal) covering 3 months to March 2020. These must show income and outgoings from self-employment.

The other two forms of evidence can include:

  • a supplier or reseller trade account (active)
  • valid business insurance
  • HMRC Unique Taxpayer Reference - or if not yet registered, you can provide a copy of correspondence or other details showing registration is being sought, or provide further details to explain position
  • VAT Registration Number
  • web links to marketing materials for your business, such as your business website or active social media
  • 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

See our list of questions and answers for further guidance.

Update, 16 April

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

Last month, the Government set up two funds:

  • a £10,000 grant for business with rateable value up to £18,000
  • 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: 

  • extending 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
  • allowing 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 
  • allowing 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
  • making arms’ length external organisations 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. Those 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
  • viable micro businesses or small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) 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 April 2020.

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 to administer the process on behalf of the Scottish Government.

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 rate payers.

£10,000 grant

£10,000 grant to ratepayers of businesses in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme or Rural Relief - businesses 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.

£25,000 grant

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

So far, we have approved 213 applications for £10,000 grants, with 23 for the larger amount.

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

Update, 3 April

You can find comprehensive details of the financial support available:

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. 

New measures 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.

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. This could be:

  • a scan of your most recent bank statement (not more than 3 months old)
  • 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 and Sign app.

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

Find more information on the Scottish Government Coronavirus Business Support Fund.

Update, 23 March

Get online continuity support for your business

Ensure continuity for your business during these unprecedented times with Find Business Support. The website offers advice and tools to help.

The business disruption checklist provides a range of low-risk, low-cost actions you can take across three areas of business operations:

  • business planning
  • employees
  • finance

A separate checklist and action plan is also available to support businesses in the tourism sector.

They can also help with supply chain mapping to try and minimise the impact of COVID-19 on your business.

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

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. This 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.