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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

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

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

This grant is specifically aimed at small businesses (less than 50 employees) based in North Ayrshire which are experiencing financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions and regulations introduced since October 2020. You should not apply for this fund if you are eligible for any scheme of support introduced or announced by Scottish Government since 1 October 2020.

The funding allocated to North Ayrshire Council from the Scottish Government is finite and will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. If we ask you to provide further information to support your application, please submit this within seven days. If submitted after this time, your application will become invalid and you will need to submit a new application. This new application will be considered in order of date and time received.

We expect a high volume of applications for this grant and so it may be suspended to allow a review of the remaining funds available.

Eligible businesses will receive a payment of £2,000.

 The following categories of businesses can apply for the COVID-19 Discretionary Fund:

  • Limited Companies (including Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations and social enterprises)

  • Sole Traders

  • Trusts, Partnerships

  • Community Interest Companies

  • Freelancers

This may include, but is not restricted to, suppliers of goods or services to those who have been closed or restricted by legislation, but will not include those who have been unable to trade as a result of personal circumstances.

To be eligible for the COVID-19 Discretionary Fund, businesses must meet the following criteria:

  • Be based/headquartered in North Ayrshire.

  • Have less than 50 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 been trading before 17 March 2020, and intend to continue trading for the remainder of the tax year 2020-21.

  • 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 or are eligible for other funding

Any business which is eligible for any of the schemes below, will be INELIGIBLE for a COVID-19 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 the COVID-19 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, you will need to download this application form

Before you complete your Application Form, you should read this 

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

This includes, for ALL APPLICANTS:

  • 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.)

  • 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) 

Submitting your form & supporting documents

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

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

General Business Support

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

Guidance on trading during Tier 4 restrictions

Scottish Government guidance is available on which businesses are permitted to remain open in Tier 4.

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

As part of the ongoing support for businesses, the Scottish Government has introduced a new package of sector specific support to help businesses closed or impacted by current protective measures due to Covid-19. This is part of the £104 million tourism and hospitality package announced in December 2020.

This includes the Small Accommodation Providers paying Council Tax Fund (SAP-CTF), designed to support the following businesses that are not on Non Domestic Rates, but pay Council Tax:

A grant of £2,000, payable every 4 weeks, will be available to eligible businesses. These payments will be backdated to the start of January 2021, to cover Level 4 restrictions which apply from the 26 Dec 2020 lockdown period and no later than 31 March 2021. 

The fund is for new entrants - eligible businesses that may have missed out on funding under either the B&B Hardship Fund or the Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Hardship Fund, and businesses that may not have previously sought support who meet the eligibility criteria.

North Ayrshire Council will administer the grants and will be responsible for delivering the funding to eligible businesses. Payments will be made where possible into the business bank account of the business, and personal accounts where a business bank account is not held by the business. North Ayrshire Council offer an appeals process for applicants.

Given the complexity and pace surrounding delivery of this Scheme, elements of this guidance are subject to change. Applicants will be informed if this affects them.

Eligibility Criteria 

New entrants to the fund will need to meet the following eligibility criteria:

B&Bs and guest houses, the business will need to:

  • Confirm that the business premises operates as a guesthouse, bed & breakfast, or similar small serviced accommodation

  • Confirm that the applicant / business pays council tax

  • Confirm that your business receipts represent a primary source of income (one third or more of earnings)

  • Confirm that you can provide evidence of active trading up to March 2020 and had intended to continue trading in the tax year 2020-21

  • Confirm that you are not currently in receipt of COVID-19 related business grant support through the Strategic Framework Business Fund for the premises

  • Provide evidence of business insurance

  • Provide evidence of membership, accreditation, registration or listing with a recognised hospitality or tourism agency, representative body or marketing organisation, either national or local (for example, VisitScotland, Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers, SBBA, your local destination marketing organisation, AA, Quality in Tourism, etc). Online booking platform listing alone is not accepted as evidence.

  • The business should have been trading on 2nd November 2020

SAP-CTF (Wave 3) Application for B&Bs and Guest Houses can be downloaded here

Self-catering businesses, the business will need to:

  • Confirm that the business meets the definition of a self-catering property as defined in The Council Tax (Dwellings and Part Residential Subjects) (Scotland) Regulations 1992[1]

  • Confirm that the applicant/business pays council tax

  • Confirm that your business receipts represent a primary source of income (one third or more of earnings)

  • Confirm that if required you can provide auditable data to support one of the following statements:

    a)My property was occupied for more than 140 days in financial year 2019-20

    or

    b)Due to a poor trading season my property was not occupied for 140 days in the financial year 2019-20 but was occupied for more than 140 days in either of    the 2 financial years preceding

  • Confirm that you are not currently in receipt of COVID-19 related business grant support through the Strategic Framework Business Fund for the premises

  • Provide evidence of business insurance

  • Provide evidence of membership, accreditation, registration or listing with a recognised hospitality or tourism agency, representative body or marketing organisation, either national or local (for example, VisitScotland, Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers, your local destination marketing organisation, AA, Quality in Tourism, etc). Online booking platform listing alone is not accepted as evidence.

  • The business should have been trading on 2nd November 2020.

SAP-CTF (Wave 3) Application for Self-Catering can be downloaded here

The fund is open to applications from 15 March 2021 and completed applications must be submitted by email no later than midnight on Monday 22nd March 2021  to LSCEUBBFUND@north-ayrshire.gov.uk with all required supporting documents. 

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:

You can access the Scottish Government guidance below: