Last week was tough, with new Covid-19 restrictions potentially devastating for small businesses across rural Scotland. We've summed up the main points in this blog, including some clarifications that have been brought in since they were first announced. You can also find some information on the—somewhat limited—funding that's being made available under the Job Support Scheme for businesses forced to close.
New Temporary Restrictions for Scotland
Nationwide (excepting central belt areas):
All hospitality (food and drink) premises may only open indoors between 6am and 6pm, with no sales of alcohol; premises may open outdoors until 10pm, with sales of alcohol (where licensed); evening meals may be served in accommodation for residents only, but no alcohol can be served (alcohol sales are permitted as part of room service within licensed accommodation).
Specific life events, such as weddings and funerals, may continue with alcohol being served, with current meeting rules for these events; takeaways can continue and the current maximum of six meeting rule continues to apply. Additionally, shops across Scotland are asked to return to two metres physical distancing and reintroduce the mitigations they put in place earlier in the pandemic, including one-way systems.
These measures will run until Sunday 25 October inclusive. Find out more here.
Central belt area focusing on five health board areas (Ayrshire & Arran; Forth Valley; Greater Glasgow & Clyde; Lanarkshire; Lothian):
Hospitality: Licensed premises will be required to close (this applies to areas of the premises where food or drink are served—shop areas can remain open); takeaway services can continue; cafés will be able to open between 6am and 6pm without alcohol sale or consumption; evening meals may be served in accommodation for residents only, but no alcohol can be served (alcohol sales are permitted as part of room service within licensed accommodation).
Events: No outdoor live events; Specific life events, such as weddings and funerals, may continue with alcohol being served, with current meeting rules for these events.
Sport and Leisure: Snooker/pool halls, indoor bowling, casinos and bingo halls are to close; No group exercise classes for indoor gyms and sports courts (pools with an exemption for under 18s); No adult (18+) contact sports or training—except professional sports—indoor or outdoor.
Transport: Public transport use should be minimised as much as possible, such as for education and work, where it cannot be done from home. The Scottish Government is asking people within the central belt areas to think carefully about whether they need to travel outside their local health board area and, where that is necessary, to plan to do so safely. They are not, however, advising that people from these areas who have already booked holiday accommodation in October need to cancel.
Current meeting rules, maximum of six people from two households, continue to apply. Additionally, shops across Scotland are asked to return to two metres physical distancing and reintroduce the mitigations they put in place earlier in the pandemic, including one-way systems.
These measures will run until Sunday 25 October inclusive. Find out more here.
The Job Support Scheme: The Scheme will be expanded to protect jobs and support businesses required to close their doors as a result of coronavirus restrictions, with the government paying two thirds of employee wages, up to a maximum of £2,100 a month for each employee. Businesses will only be eligible to claim the grant while they are subject to restrictions and employees must be off work for a minimum of seven consecutive days. The scheme will begin on 1 November and will be available for six months, with a review point in January. Find out more here.
Community Climate Asset Fund: This is a Scottish Government fund, administered by Keep Scotland Beautiful with the aim to help community groups tackle climate change, support them to play a prominent role in the Green Recovery and build on what they are already doing for Scotland’s response to COVID-19. Grants range between a minimum of £1,000 and maximum of £100,000. Applications will be assessed and funding allocated to eligible applicants on a first-come, first-served basis with an application deadline of noon on Monday 9 November 2020. Find out more here.
A Different Approach to Community-Led Asset Development Event: Many community asset transfer projects face challenges around finance. This seminar is an opportunity to hear research and proposed models from Community Enterprise and the William Grant Foundation and to discuss and explore how this can add value for communities developing assets across Scotland. This free event takes place on Tues 27th October, 10-12pm. Find out more here.
Virtual Rural SE Hub Community Learning Exchanges: Stakeholders from Scotland’s Rural SEN have signed up to host these virtual learning exchanges, which will consist of a brief virtual tour and a presentation of the organisation’s challenges and solutions – followed by a Q&A and a general discussion. Hosting organisations include: Bùth Bharraigh Community Shop (13th Oct) ; R-evolution Community Benefit Society (19th Oct) ; and Argyll and the Isles Coast and Countryside Trust (28th Oct): See links to book your place.
Highlands & Islands Ecosystem Gathering: This virtual event is on the subject Digital Health Innovation in the Highland and Islands: COVID needs and Opportunities and takes place on Wed 28 October at 11.00. See the full event schedule and register here.
Perth: The most sustainable small city in Europe - what will it take? Online Conference: This event is for everyone with a role to play in the vision to make Perth the most sustainable small city in Europe. Major employers, local businesses, community groups, local organisations and the Local Authority will be joined by international guests and national partners. On Fri 6th November, 09.00 - 12.30pm, the event will bring leading examples from across Europe to inspire and inform. On Fri the 4th December, 09.00 - 12.30pm, attendees will reconvene to focus on practical, hands on workshops to advance key themes for Perth’s sustainable future. Register here (best using Google Chrome).
Becoming a Perthshire Artisan: Interested in becoming a Perthshire Artisan? The application deadline is 5pm this Thursday 15 October. Perthshire Artisans is the newly developed platform (powered by GrowBiz and run on a ‘not for private gain’ basis) which focusses on both supporting and promoting creatives living and/or working in Perthshire & Kinross. It’s a different way for creatives to reach their market and also benefit from the marketing service and e-commerce option. Guidelines, application form & summary T&C’s can be found on the ‘Become a Perthshire Artisan’ page here.
REDS Card Launched: The REDS Card is a gift card for rural Scotland, designed to boost spending in local areas. Members of the Rural Enterprise Directory Scotland can now sign up to be a participating REDS Card business, meaning REDS Card holders can spend their card in your shop, cafe, online store or however you transact with your customers. Becoming a REDS Card Merchant attracts new and existing customers to your business and provides a great additional opportunity to promote your products and services across the UK and further afield. Find out more here.
A REDS members-only networking event is also being held on Tues 27 of October at 6pm. The event will be an opportunity to hear more about the REDS Card and benefits as well as a chance to meet and network with other REDS members. If you're a REDS member then email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your place.
We understand what an anxious time this is for small business owners. If you would like more information or support with anything mentioned in this blog, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the GrowBiz team for some 1-1 advice and assistance. Email email@example.com