Business Support Update – 11 January 2021
Additional Funding for Gyms and Non-essential Retail
Action has been taken so that businesses across Scotland get better and faster access to financial support by Scottish Finance Secretary Kate Forbes. £41 million will top up support for non-essential retail and gyms, which are required to close in level 4. This is in addition to top up grants for hospitality that were announced earlier this month
Non-essential retail and gyms will be given up to an additional £3,000 as a one-off payment and can claim this funding through their local authority website (Scottish Borders Council application link) if they have not already submitted an application for the Strategic Framework Business Fund. Non-essential retail and gyms already in receipt of payments are of course also eligible but need not – and should not – reapply.
To accelerate the distribution of financial support, a further £7 million will help all local authorities recruit additional staff or backfill positions to meet increased demand for coronavirus (COVID-19) grants and speed up the payment process.
Update on the Strategic Framework Business Fund
The cap on the maximum support available through the Strategic Framework Business Fund has been lifted as of 1 January for businesses that operate from multiple premises. Both grants (Temporary Closure grant and Business Restrictions grant)
If you are required to close by law, then the Temporary Closure Grant amounts to between £2,000 and £3,000 per business premise, depending on the rateable value of the premises. This is a 4-weekly payment in arrears for as long as restrictions last. Before 1 January there was an upper limit of 15,000 in any four-week period for eligible businesses with multiple premises. This has now been removed.
If your business can remain open but is specifically required to modify its operations by law (e.g. close earlier than usual), then the Business Restrictions grant amounts to between £1,400 and £2,100 per business premise, depending on the rateable value of the premises. This is a 4-weekly payment in arrears for as long as restrictions last. Before 1 January there was an upper limit of 10,500 in any four-week period for eligible businesses with multiple premises. This has now been removed.
Applications from companies in the Scottish Borders Council area can apply for either the Temporary Closure Grant or the Business Restrictions Grant at https://www.scotborders.gov.uk/xfp/form/622
More information on the Strategic Framework Business Fund.
The Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers
The Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers is a fund to support creative freelancers working in Scotland who are experiencing immediate financial hardship due to the loss of income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
These roles include those whose work has direct creative outcomes as well as those in supporting roles whose work directly supports the making and presentation of creative work.
All applicants must be based in Scotland and must be able to demonstrate they were working and making income as a freelance creative professional before lockdown began (in March 2020).
There is £8m allocated towards this programme in total and you can seek between £500 and £2000 to help support your immediate needs.
Applications for the fund can be made here.
The funds are offered on a non-competitive basis and require you to submit minimal information to enable us to make awards as quickly as possible. We will aim to ensure that all eligible recipients will receive money in their account within 6 weeks of submission of your request. If there are any delays to this, we’ll let you know.
The funds offer a one-off monetary contribution to those who are most deeply impacted and disadvantaged by the cancellation of work as a result of the emergency situation. We will trust that those who request these funds are in need of emergency funding at this time. We strongly encourage people to fully consider their needs before making a request to this programme. Funds are finite and we and our partners expect a high level of demand. It is vital that we are able to support those who have the most urgent needs at this time.
Whilst there are no deadlines for this programme, the nature of this fund is that it will only remain open whilst budget remains available.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
The deadline for submitting any December claims for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is Thursday 14 January.
You can claim before, during or after you process your payroll. If you can, it’s best to make a claim once you’re sure of the exact number of hours your employees worked so you don’t have to amend your claim at a later date.
As a reminder, the UK Government will pay 80% of employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month, until the end of April 2021.
To benefit from this scheme, firstly check if you are eligible and check how much you can claim using the CJRS calculator.
Previously, the eligibility criteria were that an employee must have been employed before 20 March 2020, however this has been changed to allow employees who were employed and on payroll on 30 October 2020.
This means you must have made a PAYE RTI submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee. This may differ where you have made employees redundant, or they stopped working for you on or after 23 September 2020 and you have subsequently re-employed them.
The rest of the eligibility criteria show that you must have:
– created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 30 October 2020
– enrolled for PAYE online
– a UK, Isle of Man or Channel Island bank account
If you haven’t claimed the CJRS before, you can still make a claim this time around.
If you are claiming for the first time then you will need:
– A government gateway (GG) ID and password – you can apply for one if you don’t have one already
– To be enrolled for PAYE online
– Information on the furloughed employee you’ll be claiming for, such as name, national insurance number, claim period and amount, and PAYE/employee number.
– Find out more on the step by step guide to assist employers claiming for the CJRS.