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Many of our members have reached out to us to seek advice, help or support with regards to Coronavirus. We understand that it is not only staffing that is a concern but contracts / sales / orders, cash flow, supply chain etc. As the impact of the pandemic is changing daily, we understand that it is difficult to get all of the correct advice and plan accordingly.

By being a member of Moray Chamber of Commerce, you have access to regional, national, and international businesses. If you are coming up against an issue or problem, or would like to learn how other businesses are dealing with certain elements of COVID-19, please complete the form below and we can seek to get the answer for you from our ever-growing network.

We understand the rural challenges that Moray faces and a pandemic such as this could isolate us, we urge you to work together and support where you can. There is a high risk of many businesses laying off staff or closing their doors and we want Moray to come together as a community to help all of our businesses, regardless of sector or size, to survive this.

We’ve signposted a variety of websites below which we will be monitoring daily.


14/04/2021 Travel ban in Scotland to be lifted from Friday 16th April FM has announced

The Covid-19 restriction on travelling around Scotland is to be lifted from Friday, while people are to be allowed to meet up in larger groups outdoors.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said measures were being eased earlier than planned to help people's mental health.

People will be allowed to meet in groups of up to six adults from six households in outdoor settings.

And they will be permitted to travel across Scotland to do so, as long as they do not stay overnight.

Other restrictions are expected to be eased from 26 April - with premises including shops, gyms, pubs and restaurants due to reopen on a restricted basis.

Hospitality businesses will need to close their doors at 20:00 indoors and 22:00 outdoors, with alcohol only allowed to be served outside.

Restrictions on travel from Scotland to other parts of the UK are also expected to be lifted from 26 April.

From 17 May, pubs will be able to open indoors until 22:30 and contact sports, cinemas, and some small scale events will be able to take place.

Up to four people from two households will also be able to meet up indoors from the date.

Find out more here:http://ow.ly/Akf250Eoay4

Strategic Framework Levels: http://ow.ly/ruGT50EoayE


09/04/2021 Moray Council COVID-19 Discretionary Business Restart Grant


The current Discretionary Business Fund has now closed and a new fund has now opened.

The aim of this fund is to mitigate the short-term financial challenges being experienced by businesses adversely impacted by restrictions and regulations introduced since October 2020 to control the spread of COVID-19.

The Discretionary Business Restart Grants provides a one-off restart grant of £8,000 to successful applicants which pay NDR & have not been able to access any funding since October 2020 with the exception of any small Discretionary Business Fund grants. Please note that this fund will be issued on a first come first served basis for complete applications & will close once the allocated budget is spent. It is important that all documentation requested is submitted with the applications for it to be considered complete.

Eligibility criteria:


  • Business trading prior to 31/10/2020
  • Business is based in Moray
  • Business has valid a VAT, PAYE, Companies House registration, SCIO, CIC or UTR number or evidence of application.
  • My business premises are registered for Non-Domestic rates (if you pay rates through your landlord rather than directly to a Council, you are still eligible to apply but must provide evidence of this arrangement through copy of your lease agreement).
  • Business is not eligible for any coronavirus funding support since October 2020 with the exception of a small Discretionary Business Fund grant.
  • Business has not received an enforcement notice as a result of breaching Covid-19 regulations
  • Business is not in administration, insolvency or received notice to be struck off Companies House.
  • My business would normally have an annual turnover of more than £60,000
  • My business employ’s less than 50 staff
  • My business has suffered a negative financial impact from COVID-19 restrictions.

Examples of business that may benefit from this fund.

Trades – Construction, Plumber, Painter & Decorator, Joiner, Laundries etc. who have been restricted from entering people’s homes, or restricted site operations and travel.

Kennels and catteries that have been restricted and seen a significant reduction.

Auto repair/Garages with reduction in trade due to MOT delays and restrictions on staff and social distancing.

Newsagents, takeaways and other retail that has remained open, had no access to other grants but have suffered from lower footfall and customer levels.


How to apply


To apply please complete the application form

Please send the completed form with all required supporting documents to dbfund@moray.gov.uk

Please note, we will only accept applications with supporting documents via email to this address. Please do not send hardcopies or emails to any of the other business support funds.

We will start processing applications from 12 April 2021 onwards & please do not send follow up enquiries or emails, as it slows down the process.



06/04/2021 Nicola Sturgeon confirms secondary schools in Scotland will reopen full-time to all pupils

Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed high schools across Scotland will reopen full-time to virtually all pupils when the Easter holidays finish.

The First Minister announced some pupils could be back in class five days a week as soon as next Monday, depending on which council area they live in.

Read more http://ow.ly/ymPg50EhM5h


30/03/2021 £25 million for tourism recovery

Scotland's "stay at home" lockdown order will be lifted on Friday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed. Hairdressers, garden centres, car showrooms and forecourts, homeware stores and non-essential click and collect services will be able to open from Monday 5th. People are also being told to "stay local" and remain within their local authority boundaries for the next three weeks.

Read more http://ow.ly/OX1d50Ed58B


24/03/2021 £25 million for tourism recovery

Speaking at the Scottish Tourism Alliance conference, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced a new £25 million tourism recovery programme.The funding is to support the sector’s recovery from the pandemic and programme includes plans such as holiday vouchers, a new marketing fund and days out incentives.Find out more here here: http://ow.ly/gHC650E7hvA


16/03/2021 Latest on lockdown easing from Scottish Government

The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP has outlined the latest update on lockdown restrictions as well as key milestone dates moving forward for the easing of lockdown.

Please see below an initial summary of what was announced:

2 April

  • lifting the ‘Stay at Home’ requirement and replacing it with a ‘Stay Local’ message (retaining the current, local authority-based travel restrictions for at least a three-week period)

5 April

  • extending outdoor socialising to permit up to 6 people from up to 3 households to gather
  • allowing 12-17 year olds to meet outdoors in groups of 6 from up to 6 households
  • travel within all of mainland Scotland permitted (subject to other restrictions that remain in place)
  • remaining shops can reopen and mobile close contact services can resume
  • gyms can reopen for individual exercise
  • tourist accommodation to reopen (self-catering accommodation to be restricted in line with rules on indoor gathering)
  • work in people’s homes to resume
  • driving lessons to resume
  • weddings and funerals for up to 50 (including wakes and receptions with no alcohol permitted)
  • libraries, museums, galleries re-open
  • outdoor hospitality to open till 22:00 with alcohol permitted. Indoor hospitality permitted without alcohol and closing at 20:00
  • social mixing in indoor public places will be subject to current maximum of 4 people from up to 2 households

*The prohibition of in-home socialising will continue to be kept under review at this date.

12/19 April, depending on term times

  • all children back to school full-time

26 April

Assuming the data allows it, SG expect a more significant reopening of the economy and society from 26 April. This will likely include the following easings:

  • extending outdoor socialising to permit up to 6 people from up to 3 households to gather
  • allowing 12-17 year olds to meet outdoors in groups of 6 from up to 6 households
  • travel within all of mainland Scotland permitted (subject to other restrictions that remain in place)
  • remaining shops can reopen and mobile close contact services can resume
  • gyms can reopen for individual exercise
  • tourist accommodation to reopen (self-catering accommodation to be restricted in line with rules on indoor gathering)
  • work in people’s homes to resume • driving lessons to resume
  • weddings and funerals for up to 50 (including wakes and receptions with no alcohol permitted)
  • libraries, museums, galleries re-open
  • outdoor hospitality to open till 22:00 with alcohol permitted. Indoor hospitality permitted without alcohol and closing at 20:00
  • social mixing in indoor public places will be subject to current maximum of 4 people from up to 2 households The prohibition of in-home socialising will continue to be kept under review at this date.

17 May

From 17 May, SG hope to introduce the following easings:

  • re-introducing in-home socialising for up to 4 people from up to 2 households
  • further re-opening of hospitality: bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes can stay open until 22:30 indoors with alcohol permitted and 2 hour time-limited slots and until 22:00 outdoors with alcohol permitted
  • adult outdoor contact sport and indoor group exercises can resume
  • cinemas, amusement arcades and bingo halls can re-open
  • small scale indoor and outdoor events can resume subject to capacity constraints (to be confirmed following stakeholder engagement)
  • colleges and universities can return to a more blended model of learning
  • more in-person (face-to-face) support services can resume
  • non-professional performance arts can resume outdoors

Business Support

  • on 22 March, one final four-weekly payment of the SFBF, with no new claims permitted
  • on 19 April, all SFBF recipients automatically given a combined two-week supplement and a one-off restart grant: up to £7,500 for eligible retail premises; and up to £19,500 for eligible hospitality and leisure The infrastructure for the SFBF will be retained and used as required in future for business support linked to any local outbreaks

Travel

  • Discussing with the aviation sector this week what conditions would need to be met to restart nonessential travel to some international destinations again. Like the UK Government, SG are certain that this won’t be possible before 17 May and maybe for some time after. Even when overseas travel does resume, SG say that it is very likely that pre-departure and post-arrival testing will remain in place for some time to come. Will be kept under close review.
  • Ban on non-essential travel between Scotland and the rest of the UK and the wider Common Travel Area (CTA) (i.e. the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) will also be kept on review, with a view to relaxing the ban – or targeting it only on travel to and from particular areas in the rest of the CTA – when it becomes safe to do so.

Download the timetable here


12/03/2021 Mobile And Home Based Close Contact Services Fund & the Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund extended

The Scottish Government has today confirmed that the application deadlines for the Mobile And Home Based Close Contact Services Fund and the Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund have both been extended to 23:59 on the 23rd of March.


Mobile And Home Based Close Contact Services Fund

This funding is being provided by the Scottish Government.

Eligible applicants will receive a one-off £4,000 payment (£2,000 for the period to end December 2020 and a further £2,000 to cover the period from January 2021 onwards).

To be eligible for this grant you must:

• have been operating your business before 17 March 2020
• have lost income as a result of Covid-19 restrictions
• meet all of the eligibility criteria

This fund is for owners and operators of mobile and home-based close contact service businesses and for registered driving instructors. It is not for employees of those businesses.

Make sure you read the guidance carefully before submitting your application. There is no appeals process after the fund closes.

Find out more here: http://ow.ly/syrX50DXj9t



Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund

This grant scheme is designed to help alleviate financial hardship for newly self-employed people. The funding is being provided by the Scottish Government and offers a one-off £4,000 payment for those whose status as being newly self-employed makes them ineligible for the UK Government’s Coronavirus (Covid-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

Find out more here: http://ow.ly/Pw9050DXjbe


(09/03/2021) Changes to Level 4 restrictions

More people will be able to socialise outdoors following good progress in suppressing Coronavirus (COVID-19), the First Minister has announced.

Up to four adults from two households will be able to meet locally in any outdoor space, including in private gardens, for social and recreational purposes as well as exercise from Friday 12 March. People should only go indoors if it is essential in order to reach a back garden, or to go to the toilet.

Outdoor non-contact sports and group exercise will also resume for adults in groups of up to to 15 people from this date.

Young people aged 12 to 17 will be able to meet outdoors in groups of up to four people from four different households, participate in outdoor non-contact sports, and other organised activities in groups of up to 15 and travel across local authority boundaries to participate in such activities.

Read more: http://ow.ly/mC1850DUjP8



(09/03/2021) Discretionary fund open to more businesses

With funding from the Scottish Government increasing to £1.65 million, Moray Council is widening the eligibility criteria for the Discretionary Business Fund.

The grant offer will now include those businesses trading up to 31 October 2020 whereas it previously only covered those trading before 31 March 2020. The requirement for a 30% negative impact has also been removed, with the fund now open to any business with a negative impact regardless of amount.

Eligible businesses can apply for the Discretionary Business Fund online.

The new eligibility criteria is as follows:
• Business trading prior to 31/10/2020
• Business is based in Moray
• Business has valid a VAT, PAYE, Companies House registration, SCIO, CIC or UTR number or evidence of application
• Business is not eligible for any coronavirus funding support since October 2020
• Business not included in any planned future funds
• Business has not received an enforcement notice as a result of breaching Covid-19 regulations
• Business is not in administration, insolvency or received notice to be struck off Companies House
• Business would normally have an annual turnover of more than £3,000
• Business has suffered a negative financial impact from COVID-19 restrictions.

Full details: http://ow.ly/7d4j50DUj8w


04/03/2021 Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund – Open for Applications

This grant scheme is designed to help alleviate financial hardship for newly self-employed people who meet the eligibility criteria set out below.

The funding is being provided by the Scottish Government.

The scheme offers a one-off £4,000 payment for those whose status as being newly self-employed makes them ineligible for the UK Government’s Coronavirus (Covid-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

The deadline for applications is 5pm on 16 March 2021.

Find out more here: http://ow.ly/6LHS50DPZ5x


23/02/2021 Nicola Sturgeon outlines Scotland's roadmap out of lockdown

Nicola Sturgeon has announced today, a road map to reopening Scotland's economy - including shops, bars, restaurants, gyms and hairdressers - is expected to start in the last week of April

Below is a breakdown of the strategic framework outlined in today's briefing:

Phase 1 (22nd February) early learning and childcare and schools open for Primary 1-3 pupils and senior phase pupils for essential practical work. Limited increase in the provision for vulnerable children. Care homes opening to facilitate meaningful contact between relatives/ friends and residents.

Phase 2 (unlikely before 15 March) - More school reopening - Non-contact outdoor group sports for 12-17 year olds. Socialising rules eased, to allow outdoor meetings of 4 people from 2 households.

Phase 3 - (at least three weeks later - possibly 5 April) Stay-at-Home requirement removed. Third and final phase of schools reopening if required. Places of worship can open on a restricted numbers basis. Essential retailers list expanded slightly and click-and-collect resumes for non-essential retail.

Phase 4 - possibly 26 April) Limited other easing within Level 4, including permitting non-essential work in people’s homes. Return to variable Levels approach. This will enable the graduated opening up of economic and social activity.

The full Strategic Framework can be found here : http://ow.ly/2AwN50DHERH

Full FM speech: http://ow.ly/4Xsf50DHI20

Strategic Framework levels: http://ow.ly/RPZk50DHI6O



15/01/2021 - New funding schemes opened

Mobile And Home Based Close Contact Services Fund

Eligible applicants will receive a one-off £4,000 payment (£2,000 for the period to end December 2020 and a further £2,000 to cover the period from January 2021 onwards).

The fund will remain open for a four-week period. The deadline for applications is 5pm on 16 March 2021.

Find out more

Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund

The scheme offers a one-off £4,000 payment for those whose status as being newly self-employed makes them ineligible for the UK Government’s Coronavirus (Covid-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

The fund will remain open for a four-week period. The deadline for applications is 5pm on 16 March 2021.

Find you more


Moray Council COVID-19 Discretionary Business Fund

The aim of this fund is to mitigate the short term financial challenges being experienced by businesses adversely impacted by restrictions and regulations introduced since October 2020 to control the spread of COVID-19. It enables individual local authorities to direct additional financial support to specific groups, sectors or businesses within their local business communities who have not been able to receive any recent funding and are not likely to benefit from the planned future funding schemes.

The Discretionary Business Fund provides a one-off payment of £2,000 to successful applicants. Please note that this fund will be issued on a first come first served basis for complete applications & will close once the allocated budget is spent. It is important that all documentation requested is submitted with the applications for it to be considered complete.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Business trading prior to 23rd March 2020
  • Must be based in Moray and have fewer than 50 FTE employees
  • Must have a valid VAT, PAYE, Companies House registration, SCIO, CIC or UTR number
  • Business has not been eligible for any coronavirus funding since October 2020
  • Before March 2020 must normally have an annual turnover of more than £3,000
  • Business has not received an enforcement notice as a result of breaching COVID-19 regulations
  • Business is not in administration, insolvency or received notice to be struck off Companies House
  • Business can evidence a 30% negative financial impact from COVID-19 restrictions

How to apply

To apply please complete the Application Form

Please send the completed form with all required supporting documents to dbfund@moray.gov.uk

Please note, only applications with supporting documents via email to this address will be accepted. Please do not send hardcopies or emails to any of the other business support funds.

Processing of applications will start from 15th January onwards and please do not send follow up enquiries or emails, as it slows down the process.


04/03/2021 – Businesses offered free on-site covid-19 testing in Moray

Testing in the community for residents not showing symptoms of covid-19 is now being offered in Moray. This will take place in various locations, including Forres, Buckie, Keith and Elgin, for the next three months.

This offer is being extended to on-site testing for businesses in Moray from 15th February, when you’ll start to see marquees set up in car parks around the region.

If you would like to take advantage of this free testing capability please contact Moray Council’s Environmental Health team on ehadmin@moray.gov.uk with an indication of the number of staff potentially being tested. Please also provide details of the space that can be used, either outside the building or inside, if there is a suitable location for a more discreet testing option. Space requirements will be discussed with each business.

Find our more: http://ow.ly/3DMk50DrqAi


03/03/2021 – More funding for seafood sector

A new £7.75 million funding package will offer support to fishermen, seafood businesses and ports and harbours threatened by the ongoing effects of coronavirus (COVID-19) and EU Exit.

The package includes:

  • £6.45 million for the Seafood Producers Resilience Fund which will provide support to eligible shellfish catchers and producers, in addition to trout farmers who have faced issues exporting to the EU and have lost access to domestic food markets as a result of COVID-19
  • £1 million to be made available to support the investment plans of ports and harbours faced with a loss of income through landing fees
  • up to £300,000 to assist the welfare and emergency support activities of the Fishermen’s Mission in recognition of the hardship facing people working in the sector at this time.

Full information: http://ow.ly/hRo050DqmoN


02/02/2021 Marine and Outdoor Tourism Restart Fund – Applications now open

This fund is for Scottish-based marine and outdoor tourism businesses who have been significantly affected by COVID-19 and are facing seasonal re-commissioning and re-start costs ahead of the 2021 season. The £2.5 million fund is being delivered on behalf of the Scottish Government by VisitScotland together with Sail Scotland and Wild Scotland.

Applications for the fund are now open. Applications must be received by 5pm on Tuesday 9 February.

Due to the complexity and breadth of businesses within the sector, a two-strand approach to grant funding is necessary to meet the needs of the sector. Businesses may only apply to one strand.

The two strands are:

  • Marine & Boating Tourism Operators
  • Outdoor Wildlife, Adventure & Activity Sector Tourism Businesses

A range of award amounts will be awarded under this Fund, up to a maximum of £15,000 per company and will be limited to one application per company.

Full information and eligibility: http://ow.ly/bIQG50Dq6j3


28/01/2021 Business Rates Relief

The Scottish Government has introduced extra rates relief discounts to help owners of non-domestic properties, including businesses, deal with the impact of coronavirus.

The discounts include:

  • 1.6% relief on all non-domestic properties in Scotland
  • 100% rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses
  • Small Business Bonus Scheme
  • Payment deferral
  • Support for water bills

The rates relief is available to non-domestic properties from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021. Retail, hospitality, leisure and aviation businesses will have their relief extended for at least an additional three months.

You do not need to apply for the following relief – it will be applied to your bill automatically by your council:

  • 1.6% relief on all non-domestic properties in Scotland
  • 100% rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

You need to apply for the Small Business Bonus Scheme through your local authority by completing an application form. You should be able to find this on your council’s website.

For payment deferral, you need to contact your local authority.

For water bills support, you should contact your water services supplier directly.


28/01/2021 Local Authority Discretionary Fund

A £60 million fund will be distributed by local authorities (local councils) across Scotland. It will help with the short-term financial challenges being experienced by businesses.

Find out more here


27/01/2021 Further funding support announced

Marine and Outdoor Tourism Restart Fund
This fund is for Scottish-based marine and outdoor tourism businesses who have been significantly affected by COVID-19 and are facing seasonal re-commissioning and re-start costs ahead of the 2021 season.

Find out more

Support for Travel Agents
This fund is to support travel agents in Scotland. The Scottish Government recognises the specific challenges faced by this sector and one-off grants will be given through local authorities to eligible businesses.

Find out more

Brewers Support Fund
This fund is to support Scotland’s brewing sector. The Scottish Government recognises the specific challenges faced by this sector and one-off grants will be given through local authorities to eligible businesses.

Find out more

Support for Indoor Football Centres

The Scottish Government is providing funding support for Indoor Football Centres in Scotland, in recognition of the specific challenges they are experiencing as a result of COVID-19.

Find out more

Scotland Inbound Tour Operators Fund
This fund has been established to provide financial support for Scottish-based businesses in the International Inbound tour operator sector critical to Scotland’s tourism economy.

Find out more

Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund

The Resilience & Recovery Loan Fund (RRLF) is a new fund for social enterprises and charities that are improving people’s lives across the UK who are experiencing disruption to their normal business model as a result of COVID-19.

Find out more


25/01/2021 Supporting the wedding sector

This new fund aims to provide support to businesses whose main income comes from the wedding and civil partnerships industry, which has been significantly impacted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s provided by the Scottish Government and administered by Scottish Enterprise, South of Scotland Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

The fund offers a fixed grant amount based on turnover. The funding tiers are:

  • A £5,000 grant for businesses with a pre-COVID-19 turnover between £10,000 and £49,999
  • A £10,000 grant for businesses with a pre-COVID-19 turnover between £50,000 and £99,999
  • A £15,000 grant for businesses with a pre-COVID-19 turnover between £100,000 – £249,999
  • A £25,000 grant for businesses with a pre-COVID-19 turnover of more than £250,000
  • Applications will be appraised in the order they’re received until the full fund has been allocated.

There’s no fixed closing date for this fund – it will close when the full fund has been allocated.

Applications open on 28th January, and can be applied through the Find Business Support website.

Find out more about the fund here: http://ow.ly/ec6y50DhtKS


20/01/2021 Review of current restrictions – no changes to current measures until mid-February

Current lockdown measures will stay in place across mainland Scotland and some island communities until at least the middle of February, the First Minister confirmed today.

In addition, Barra and Vatersay will move into lockdown from 00:01 on Wednesday following a sharp increase in infection rates. The rest of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar will remain in level 3.

Schools across Scotland will also continue to use remote learning until at least the middle of February except in the case of vulnerable children and those of key workers.

Full detail : http://ow.ly/92g650Dhtpq


19/01/2021 Update to taxi grant criteria

More drivers to receive fixed costs grant.

Taxi and private hire drivers who have received state benefits at any time since March last year will now be eligible for a £1,500 business support grant as long as they meet the remaining criteria.

Business Minister Jamie Hepburn confirmed that the change would come into effect immediately to ensure that drivers on the lowest incomes can access support.

Full detail: http://ow.ly/9LEE50Dhtdv


15/01/2021 Travel corridors suspended

Following identification of a new variant of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Brazil, the Scottish Government will impose additional restrictions on arrivals.

From 04:00 on Monday, all country exemptions from self-isolation after international travel will be suspended.

Passengers travelling to Scotland from outside the Common Travel Area will be required to isolate for ten days on return. They must also have a valid negative COVID-19 test result, taken no more than three days before the scheduled time of departure.

Most people from outside the CTA who meet the limited criteria to travel to Scotland will still require to undertake pre-departure tests and must have a valid negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than three days before the scheduled time of departure. This will be checked by operators, and passengers with a positive test result or an invalid certificate will be refused boarding.

It remains the case that travel to or from Scotland without a reasonable excuse is not permitted.

Full detail: http://ow.ly/ziFO50DhsU6


11/01/2021 First minister announces further tightening of current restrictions

Further tightening of current restrictions have been outlined by the first minister today.

  • Click and collect services will be limited to essential items only from Saturday. These services will need to ensure a staggered collection service.
  • Take away services will be restricted to serving customers through hatches (no longer be able to serve customers from inside their premises)
  • Alcohol will no longer be able to consumed outdoor in level 4 areas from Saturday.
  • There will be a legal obligation on employers to allow working from home. Requirement for only “essential” work taking place in private home (e.g by tradespeople) will be put into law.
  • Amendment to regulations regarding staying at home. People will only be able to leave their homes and remain outside for essential purposes.

Further details can be found here and we will keep you updated through our website as and when more information is available.

FM STATEMENT – http://ow.ly/IwNI50D7pi7


11/01/2021 Finance Secretary announces additional support for Leisure, Hospitality and Retail

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes has announced top-ups to the grant support available for hospitality, retail and leisure businesses who have been forced to close due to level 4 restrictions.

The Finance Secretary has said “As promised, this additional support for hospitality, retail and leisure businesses will be available this month, in some cases doubling or tripling the amount of support we are providing. Applications are open now and payment will be made this month.”

In addition to the grants businesses receive through the Strategic Business Framework Fund, eligible businesses will also get a one off grant of:

  • £25,000 for larger hospitality businesses on top of the 4-weekly £3,000
  • £6,000 for smaller hospitality businesses on top of the 4-weekly £2,000
  • £9,000 for larger retail and leisure businesses on top of the 4-weekly £3,000
  • £6,000 for smaller retail and leisure businesses on top of the 4-weekly £2,000
We will bring you further detail as and when it becomes available and more information can also be found here:
http://ow.ly/ughJ50D5hoy

04/01/2021 First Minister Announces LOCKDOWN

The first minister has announced today that as of midnight tonight, mainland Scotland will be in ‘lockdown similar to March’. There is some changes to March lockdown so please read the guidance on what this means for your business.

STAY AT HOME GUIDANCE: http://ow.ly/eFQw50CZqha

FM STATEMENT: http://ow.ly/jGq050CZqhc


22/12/2020 – First Minister’s Update

The Level 4 restrictions that will be applied across Scotland for three weeks from 26/12/2020 will be reviewed after 14 days.

Hospitality businesses will have to close for all but takeaways, and that non-essential shops will also be forced to shut their doors.

Ms Sturgeon said “given the severity of the situation” the definition of non-essential retail was being applied more widely, so that homeware stores and garden centres will also have to close, apart from click-and-collect services.

While current Level 4 restrictions prevent people from leaving their local council area unless this is essential, Ms Sturgeon said from Saturday the “strong advice” would be for people to “stay as local as possible and at home as much as possible”.

She added: “We will be considering in the days ahead whether we need to place that advice in law.”


21/12/2020 – Fergus Ewing MSP, outlined further details on the specific sectoral business support packages that will be available in January 2021.

The funding is part of the short term response to the Scottish Tourism Recovery Taskforce recommendations and follows discussions with industry to target support, both of which the Chambers have been closely involved in. We have alsourged the Scottish Government to get behind a comprehensive package of support that will ensure businesses can preserve as many jobs as is possible over the coming weeks and months, in light of the recently announced changes to restrictions which will take place from Boxing Day. Details and opening dates for all funding pots will be announced in due course.

Please see a summary of these packages below:

  • £19.2 million to provide one-off grants for hospitality businesses
  • £50.8 million for businesses with a rateable value of more than £51,000 that have not received support from the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund or Hotel Support Programme and some additional support to smaller businesses impacted by restrictions
  • £11.8 million for international inbound, coach tourism and domestic tour operators
  • £7 million for self-catering
  • £5 million for visitor attractions
  • £2.5 million for outdoor tourism
  • £2.3 million for hostels
  • £2 million for ski centres
  • £1.5 million for travelling show people ineligible for other support
  • £1.2 million for Destination Management Organisations
  • £1 million for B&Bs and guest houses excluded from the latest Non Domestic Rates scheme

You can find further information about eligibility requirements here: Strategic Framework Business Fund.


19/12/2020 – First Minister announces changes to Christmas restrictions and imposes country wide LEVEL 4 restrictions from BOXING Day.

The first minister has announced that to protect Scotland from a new strain of coronavirus she has implemented the following restrictions:

  • the planned easing of restrictions around Christmas will be for Christmas day only, travel within Scotland is allowed on this date only. Travel between Scotland and the rest of the UK will not be legal.
  • legal household limits will still apply – a maximum of 8 people from 3 households – however advice is that this a maximum and not a ‘target’
  • from 26th December, all of Scotland will have Level 4 restrictions applied, including the closure of non-essential retail and hospitality. The only exceptions will be Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles, and the other island communities where restrictions have been reduced in recent weeks, who will be placed in Level 3. These restrictions will last for a minimum of 3 weeks.

This is a huge blow for us in Moray when our cases are so low and businesses have spent thousands becoming COVID secure.

CLICK HERE TO SEE WHAT LEVEL 4 MEANS FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Business Restrictions/Closure Grant

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from Boxing Day, in line with existing law, travel across local authority boundaries between areas in Level 3 or 4 will not be legal other than for specific exempt purposes

9/12/2020 – NEW £185 million package for business includes:

  • £5 million for the wedding sector and its supply chain, including photographers
  • one-off grants totalling £15 million for mobile close contact services, such as hairdressers
  • a £19 million fund and one-off grants for taxi drivers
  • £5 million for travel agents
  • almost £6 million for coach companies and tour operators

MORE DETAILS HERE

DOWNLOAD THE WINTER ECONOMY PLAN SUMMARY HERE

Please click a title to be redirected to the most up to date information:

Guidance from Scottish Government re Social Distancing for Businesses
Advice line for Scottish businesses
Rates & Grant information
UK Government website
Scottish Government website
Government website – employer and business guidance
Business Support Finder
Tax Support
NHS Scotland
Visit Scotland
Scotrail
Stagecoach
Travel Health Pro

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