Coronavirus Update — 8 April

Updated: Apr 9, 2020

Since our last update there has been a number of alterations to existing schemes and announcements of additional support and new funding opportunities. Relevant links have now been uploaded to our Coronavirus Support page and we have also gathered much of the most relevant information together here for you:

Adjustments to Business Interruption Loans: There's been some coverage lately about the difficulty many people have been having in accessing the government-funded Business Interruption Loans through their banks. Because of this, a few adjustment have been made to make them more readily available and increase confidence about applying for one. Firstly, businesses will no longer need to demonstrate that they can't get a loan on normal terms in order to qualify for a Business Interruption Loan. Secondly, most businesses will no longer need to sign a personal guarantee when making their application. It is hoped that these measures will increase lending to smaller businesses in the coming days. Find out more about applying for a Business Interruption Loan here.

Prince’s Trust and NatWest have launched an Enterprise Relief Fund for self-employed 18–30s: This fund is offering cash grants to 18 to 30-year olds across the UK who are self-employed and/or running their own business. In conjunction with these, the initiative will also offer one-to-one support and guidance. Find out more and register your interest here.

Horticultural businesses allowed to reopen: The Scottish Government has given the green light to horticultural businesses such as garden centres and growers to resume operations provided they comply with the current social distancing rules. Find out more here.

Childcare support: Perth and Kinross Council is expanding it’s childcare provisions for key workers, opening up 5 children’s activity centres. A wider range of workers can now apply for places at these centres, including:

  • NHS staff

  • Health and Social Care staff

  • GPs and associated staff

  • Perth & Kinross Council and partner organisations staff providing Children's Activity Centre function

  • Energy providers - eligible staff will have been given a letter identifying them as key workers

  • Social work staff

  • Police Scotland staff

  • Scottish Fire and Rescue staff

  • Scottish Ambulance Service staff

  • Scottish Prison Service staff

  • Burial and cremations staff

  • Military staff involved in COVID-19 work

  • Pharmacy staff

  • Refuse collection staff

Also, key workers whose partners work in food production, agriculture, postal and delivery services or in the agriculture/food haulage sectors can now apply for childcare places. Find out more here.

SSEN has launched a £350,000 resilience fund to support community coronavirus response: Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has repurposed its annual Resilient Communities Fund to offer grants of up to £3,000. Applications are encouraged for projects that will provide extra help to those who are self-isolating or social shielding, such as those with underlying health conditions or the elderly. The fund is open to community councils, parish councils and town councils in SSEN’s network areas in the north of Scotland and central southern England. Find out more here.

Creative Scotland has launched three funding programmes:

  1. A Creative Scotland Bridging Bursary Fund will help sustain creative practice by freelance creative professionals who have lost earnings due to the cancelation of work as a result of COVID-19. (Requests for this fund have been paused until Monday 20 April.)

  2. A parallel Screen Scotland Bridging Bursary Fund will provide similar one-off bursary support to self-employed screen sector workers.

  3. The Open Fund: Sustaining Creative Development will provide support for individuals and organisations to sustain their creative development in the coming months.

Find out more here.

Youth Scotland’s Action Fund: This fund has been established to help youth groups and youth workers meet the needs of young people in response to the coronavirus. It is a micro grant fund and the maximum amount available per application is £500. Grants must be spent within six weeks of receiving it. More information can be found here.

We hope this update has been useful. You can find more information on our dedicated Coronavirus Support page, or sign up for our newsletter to regularly receive these updates in your inbox. And remember that you can always contact GrowBiz for assistance in making an application or for anything else you would like to chat about with a friendly and experienced business advisor.