Coronavirus (COVID-19) will affect most businesses in some way. If you're a local business looking for help, and your questions aren't answered below, Business Gateway Falkirk will be able to signpost you to advice and support.
Detailed below are the contact details of the key teams you may need to consult to ensure you are operating within the current guidelines.
If you have any queries in relation to the use of outdoor seating or trading areas and/or external signage and you want to make sure that your business is fully compliant with all the regulations, the planning team will be happy to assist, simply email email@example.com.
Environmental Health and Trading Standards have produced the following information:
The Licensing Board are happy to assist licensed premises in relation to the use of outdoor drinking areas and are currently waiting on detailed guidance from the Scottish Government.
The Licencing Team are currently working with all the relevant Council services to allow them to provide advice on what you need to do if you want to use or extend your existing outdoor drinking area or apply to have outdoor drinking added to your operating plan.
Where can I get advice on business contingency planning?
Business Gateway has created a support page that lists free business resources including information on business contingency planning.
I am a Falkirk town centre business who do I go to for help?
As well accessing advice from Business Gateway Falkirk on 01324 590960 or via firstname.lastname@example.org you should contact Falkirk Delivers.
Falkirk Delivers have now set up a Facebook group for Falkirk Town centre businesses.
What support is there for tourism businesses?
VisitScotland has created a dedicated section on its website offering useful information and advice for businesses in the Tourism sector. VisitScotland have stated that it will provide all 4500 businesses in its quality assurance scheme with a free year for the 2020 season and they will retain their star rating as a result.
For more information email:
The Scottish Tourism Alliance has a dedicated section on its website detailing support and job opportunities for those in the tourism sector.
They also produce a daily update for the industry that you can sign up to.
What are the latest changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)?
Employers will be expected to pay 10% towards the hours their staff do not work in July, increasing to 20% in August and September. Eligible employees will receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.
Flexible furlough will be allowed.
There will be no employer contribution to wages for hours not worked. Employers will only be asked to cover National Insurance and Employer pension contributions for hours not worked. To be reviewed in January.
The extended CJRS will operate as the previous Scheme did, with businesses being able to claim either shortly before, during or after running payroll. Claims relating to each subsequent month should be submitted by day 14 of the following month e.g .claims for furlough payments in June 2021 must be made by 14 July 2021.
Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously claimed or have been claimed for under CJRS to make a claim under the extended CJRS (if other eligibility criteria are met).
You can no longer submit claims for claim periods ending on or before 31 October 2020.
Check if you can claim for your employees' wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
I may have to make staff redundant what support can I get?
Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE)is the government's response to redundancy situations and offers free impartial advice no matter the size of the business nor how many employees are involved.
Skills Development Scotland have produced a really useful guide for anyone facing redundancy which summarises the free,impartial advice and support available to anyone in this situation.
Where can I get help with my non-domestic rates?
Anyone struggling to pay their rates should contact our non-domestic rates team:
What are the latest updates to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme?
The SEISS Grant Extension provides critical support to the self-employed. The grant will be limited to self-employed individuals who are currently eligible for the SEISS and are actively continuing to trade but are facing reduced demand due to COVID-19 and you think that your business profit will be impacted between 1 May 2021 and 30 September 2021.
The fifth grant will be worth:
- 80% of 3 months' average trading profits, capped at £7,500, for those with a turnover reduced by 30% or more
- 30% of 3 months’ average trading profits, capped at £2,850, for those with a turnover reduced by less than 30%
If you’re eligible based on your tax returns, HMRC will contact you in mid-July to give you a date that you can make your claim from. It will be given to you either by email, text message, letter or within the online service.
The online service to claim the fifth grant will be available from late July 2021. You’ll need to confirm that you meet other eligibility criteria when you make your claim.
You must make your claim on or before 30 September 2021.
Where can I get help with my lease on my Falkirk Council business premises?
Falkirk Council's commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus will not be subject to any new legal action in terms of their lease for at least 3 months from 25 March 2020. No business will be forced out of their premises if they miss paying rent during this period. Rental invoices and reminders will still be issued by the Council.
Cases will be considered further once the above support measures have been implemented and it is clearer as to the impact on each business. Any rent deferred as a consequence will be part of these discussions with you. Please contact the property team for any further information.
Is there any support for charities, social enterprises or voluntary organisations?
SCVO have a dedicated Coronavirus Third Sector information hub which provides details around funding, operating guidelines, events plus lots more
I work in the creative industries, what support is available to me?
Creative Scotland has up to date information as to what funding what may be available to provide support to sustain the country's creative community during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Is there any support for businesses operated by 18-30 year olds?
The Princes Trust are on hand to provide support and assistance to anyone in the 18-30 year old category who run their own business or are thinking of setting up on their own
I am a Private Sector Landlord is there any support for me?
A £5 million fund offering interest free loans to landlords whose tenants are having difficulty paying rent has been announced. This loan scheme offers eligible landlords up to 100% of lost rental income for a single property. Further information including an online application can be accessed via the Scottish Government website.
I have to introduce Contact Tracing - how do I go about this?
The Information Commission Office have produced guidance for small business in relation to this as they want to help ensure businesses get this right first time as they adapt to new ways of working.
Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce have launched a Track & Trace app which will allow you to securely check in your customers and collect data in line with official guidelines to support the Scottish Government Test & Protect Programme. There is no charge for this app - it is FREE for Chamber and Non-chamber members.
Would my business be able to apply the new reduction in VAT?
If you're a VAT registered business, check if you can temporarily reduce the rate of VAT (a temporary 5% reduced rate) on supplies relating to hospitality, accommodation, or admission to certain attractions.
The temporary reduced rate has been extended and will apply to supplies that are made until 30 September 2021 and then it will increase to 12.5% until 30 April 2022.