The Scottish government has confirmed new measures of £120m for the Small Business Grant scheme to include a 100% grant on the first property and eligibility to a 75% grant on all subsequent properties. A further £100m fund is also being made available for the self-employed and viable micro and SME businesses.
This fund will be channelled through local authorities and enterprise agencies to target newly self-employed people and businesses who are ineligible for other Scottish government or UK government schemes.
Coronavirus Bill has become law in Scotland. The bill focuses on:
- adjustments to the justice system, including criminal procedures to ensure essential justice business continues
- a range of provisions designed to ensure businesses, consumers and public services continue to operate effectively
- adjustments to the law on evictions to protect those renting their homes in the private and social sector
The Scottish Government published guidance for businesses on social distancing, which states that all non-essential businesses should close. Further guidance clarifying what businesses should be doing with regards to social distancing is expected to be published by early April.
The Scottish Government outlined a package of measures to support business from 1 April including a full year’s 100% non-domestic rates relief for retail, hospitality and tourism. Grants will also include:
- £10,000 grant for small businesses in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme or Rural Relief;
- £25,000 grant for hospitality, leisure and retail properties with a rateable value between £18,000 and £51,000;
- a 1.6% relief for all properties, effectively freezing the poundage rate next year.
- The go live date for the deposit return scheme has been extended to July 2022, and the ‘Tourist Tax’ introduction has been halted.
Further information on Scotland-specific support can be accessed here.
Northern Ireland Executive
The Northern Ireland Executive has published a list of essential workers, which outlines sectors which are able to continue operating during the coronavirus outbreak. The CBI fed into this list as part of the NI Engagement Forum on COVID-19, and the full list of essential workers can be accessed here.
The Budget took place which included funding for coronavirus, including an additional £792m, which will include grant funding for 30,000 businesses. Measures announced also include a 3 month holiday for business rates and an additional 25% for all businesses.
The Northern Ireland Executive confirmed the types of companies that are subject to restrictions or closures.
First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced a new £500 million fund to provide extra support to the Welsh economy. This includes:
- A new £100 million Development Bank of Wales fund for companies experiencing cash flow problems, and will provide loans of between £5,000 and £250,000
- Businesses will also be able to access a £400 million emergency pot providing:
- Grants of £10,000 for micro-businesses employing up to 9 people. Qualifying businesses will be able to apply by mid-April
- Grants of up to £100,000 for small and medium sized firms with between 10 and 249 employees. Qualifying businesses will be able to apply from w/c 6 April
- Support for larger Welsh companies, will be open to qualifying businesses within the next 2 weeks.
More details on support available to businesses in Wales can be viewed here.