Coronavirus Update: 14 July

Another week, and a significant one for many rural businesses, which will be allowed to open for the first time since March. This will also bring many challenges, so we’ve included a brief summary of new schemes that you might need to know about, with links to find out more, plus some exciting opportunities and helpful podcasts.

Job Retention Bonus: This bonus is designed to help businesses keep on furloughed workers. UK Employers will receive a one-off bonus of £1,000 for each furloughed employee who is still employed as of 31 January 2021. Learn more here.

Kickstart Scheme: This scheme is to create new, fully subsidised jobs for young people aged 16-24 across the country. Those claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment will be eligible. Funding available for each 6-month job placement will cover 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, with employers being able to top this wage up.

There will be more investment in scaling up employment support schemes, training and apprenticeships to help people looking for a job. Find out more here.

Eat Out to Help Out: In addition to the VAT cut from 20% to 5% for most tourism and hospitality businesses, this discount scheme will enable cafes, restaurants and pubs to offer a 50% reduction for sit-down meals from Monday to Wednesday every week throughout August 2020. Registration is now open, find out how to apply for your business here.

The Enterprise Iain Show: The Enterprise Iain Show is a great wee resource, in the shape of a podcast, for anyone running their own business, working for themselves, or just interested in business. Existing episodes available to listen to cover topics such as business planning, advertising and starting a business during lockdown. It airs every Wednesday at 11 and there are bonus shows throughout the week. All podcasts are available on the website here.

IRIS Magazine: Highland Perthshire’s community owned e-magazine has released their latest issue, where you can learn about Logierait Primary’s butterfly award, the Breadalbane Community Larder initiative, news from The Crannog, and updates from the COVID support groups in Highland Perthshire. There’s also an articles from the Birks Cinema, an introduction to meditation, business tips and lots of pictures, videos and even a quiz. You can read it here.

Strathmore Community Hub — Project Co-ordinator Vacancy: The trustees of Strathmore Community Hub SCIO wish to appoint a project co-ordinator to take forward and assist in the establishment of the Hub as a major community asset in the area. A full job specification and application form can be requested by emailing Applications should be submitted by Friday 14th August.

CivTech Launch New Set of 10 Challenges: If you’re an innovator, entrepreneur, team, start-up or established businesses then putting forward an idea for one of this year’s CivTech challenges could be a pathway for you to win a public sector contract, helping make people’s lives better and growing your business. Find out more here.

At GrowBiz, we really want to support the small rural businesses across Scotland that are now reopening or starting up, which is why we’ve launched the REDS initiative. You can read and update on the here and we are also going to be sharing some updates from these enterprises in future blogs.

REDS (Rural Enterprise Directory Scotland): Our £3 million fundraising campaign to support micro-enterprises and the self-employed in rural Scotland has had almost 60 pledges so far. We’d like to reach 100 by next weekend. If you haven’t yet contributed please take a moment to look at our crowdfunding page and consider making a donation, however small:

You can also help by sharing the news of REDS within your own networks wherever possible, and liking and sharing our activity on social media to help us reach more people:

Instagram: @REDS_Scotland

Twitter: @REDS_Scotland

Facebook: RuralEnterpriseDirectoryScotland

If you are a business anywhere in rural Scotland, you need to be on the REDS directory. Sign up here.

We would love to hear your stories of how the coronavirus crisis has affected your business and how REDS funding could help. We are featuring such stories on our social media pages. If you would like to share that with us please get in touch.

As always, we are here for you if you need support in applying for funding, adapting your business or chatting through your challenges with an experienced and friendly advisor. Please get in touch at

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