Coronavirus Update: 20 October

This week we have updates on some welcome extra funding for businesses and individuals worst affected by the current coronavirus restrictions. We recognise there are still considerable gaps, particularly if you’re self-employed and don’t qualify for existing schemes – please let us know if this is the case.


Self-Isolation Support Grant: Applications for a £500 Self-Isolation Support Grant have opened, designed to help low income workers who have been asked by Test and Protect to self-isolate, but who would face financial hardship in doing so. It will be targeted at those in receipt of Universal Credit or legacy benefits who are employed or self-employed. Find out more here.


Coronavirus Restrictions Fund: The Scottish Government has announced £40 million in funding for businesses and employees in Scotland affected by the temporary coronavirus (COVID-19) brake restrictions that came into effect from 9 October 2020. The support funds will be administered by local authorities, providing one-off grants. There are two types of fund; a business closure fund—for which you must be a hospitality or other business required by law to close (except for takeaway) under the new restrictions—and a discretionary business hardship fund—for companies that can remain open but are directly impacted by the restrictions, including those that supply businesses that must close. Find out more here.


Rural Youth Project Smart Village: The Rural Youth Project Smart Village for young people is on the hunt for digital champions age 18-28 from across Angus, Lanarkshire, Outer Hebrides, Rural Perth and Kinross and the Scottish Borders. The twelve selected digital champions will receive £500 to cover their voluntary expenses and time in supporting the project and will get the opportunity to work with a web developer in creating, designing and shaping content of the new digital platform. Further details about the digital champions role and how to apply can be found here. Applications close on 26 October.



RuralCovidLife Survey: The new survey, part of Generation Scotland, will investigate the psychological, social and financial effects of the pandemic in rural areas—where one in six people in Scotland live and work. It aims to give rural communities a voice in how best to deal with policies that affect them. Find out more here.


Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme (SBVS): The SBVS will ensure that every address in Scotland has the ability to access a superfast broadband connection by the end of 2021 and will provide two distinct levels of subsidy: A voucher worth up to £5,000 to help deliver a permanent broadband connection to those properties for which there is no roll-out of superfast broadband planned; a voucher worth up to £400 to help deliver an interim connection to those properties for which there is roll-out of superfast broadband planned, but not until after the end of 2021. Properties in more difficult-to-reach locations may be eligible for an additional subsidy of £250. Use this online checker to check your eligibility.


Free digital advice sessions in the Maker_Spaces: Culture Perth and Kinross are offering free 1:1 appointments in their Maker_Spaces. The Maker_Spaces are library based and free to use; each has a range of digital technology including Photoshop, graphic design programmes, and 3D printers. Make an appointment with a member of the team to discuss how the Maker_Spaces can help you, get a tutorial in a specific skill, or simply use equipment that you're already familiar with. For more information visit here or contact the team at: makerspace@culturepk.org.uk



Crowdfund Scotland ‘Train the Trainer' Event: Crowdfund Scotland are running an online 'train the trainer' event on Tues 20 of October at 10:00 with their partners at LEADER. The content is suitable for anyone who works with charities, volunteers, community groups or organisations and wants to find out more about this method of fundraising. It will provide an overview of how crowdfunding works, key information needed to identify a viable project, pointers on how to effectively support and guide a project through the process of crowdfunding, and information on free learning resources to signpost projects to. Book the free event here.


EU Exit Food and Drink Sector Update: The Scottish Government has updated some information and guidance aimed at helping the food and drink sector prepare for the end of the EU Exit Transition Period. Find practical steps that businesses can undertake now to help them prepare here.


Also, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is running a series of webinars focusing on animal and animal product exports to the EU. These sessions have been developed and will be run by the UK Government. Find out more here.



Remember that we are here to help in this difficult and anxious time. If you would like more information or support with anything mentioned in this newsletter, please get in touch with GrowBiz by emailing us or phoning 01828 627790 and leaving a message.


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