Renfrewshire Council

 Apply now for grants for businesses closed or impacted by protective measures

Last reviewed: Tuesday 1 December.

Business and job seeker support during coronavirus (COVID-19)

This page provides information for local businesses, including support for people self-employed and who to contact for business and job seeker advice. We provide the most-up-to-date information we have on different measures and schemes being delivered by the Scottish and UK Governments as well as details of Renfrewshire's Coronavirus Business Support fund.

On this page:

Job seeker support

Business support

Sector-specific support


Job seeker support

Job seeker advice

We appreciate this is a difficult time, but there are jobs available for people who want to deliver key services as well as training and development opportunities to prepare for future employment.

Our jobs and employability team Invest in Renfrewshire team can help you with lots of different aspects of getting a job and preparing you for work.

More details: Jobs and careers


Job Start Payment

Young people starting work may be entitled to a Job Start Payment. The one-off £250 payment is provided by Social Security Scotland for people aged 16-24 and care leavers up to age 25 to help with the costs of starting a new job after being unemployed. 

Full details: Job Start Payment


Support for businesses

Business advice

Our in-house Business Gateway advisors are available to provide tailored advice and support to people self-employed, to new start businesses and established companies.

Businesses may also benefit from up to two days of fully funded consultancy support from experts across a range of topics including: finance, digital & social media, IT, Legal, Property and HR.

Email: renfrewshire@bgateway.com

Call: 0141 530 2406

Contact an advisor:

  • Gary Kenyon - 07534 007841
  • Robert Kinniburgh - 07483 914535
  • Colin Orr - 07483 914561
  • James Edmonds - 07483 914556

Our Business Gateway team run a series of webinars covering a range of topics. View the latest events in Renfrewshire.

The latest business advice and support from the Scottish Government is available at FindBusinessSupport.gov.scot

The latest business advice and support from the UK Government is available at www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support


Trading Standards advice

Renfrewshire is currently in Level 4 of the Scottish Government's Coronavirus protection measures until Friday 11 December 2020.

This guidance should assist businesses to know if they have to close or not - Scottish Government - Business guidance.

Any businesses who still have queries about what the protection measures mean for them should email Trading Standards for advice. Please bear with us as we are responding to a high number of enquiries.


Avoiding business fraud

The Scottish Business Resilience Centre provides support to businesses and produces the CyberScotland bulletin which gives information about the latest threats, scams, news and updates covering cyber security and cyber resilience.

Trading Standards Scotland produce the Scam Share bulletin keeping consumers and businesses up-to-date with COVID-19 scams and you can report all scams to Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000.

There's also information on how to protect your business available from the National Cyber Security Centre and advice and guidance form the UK Government on how to protect against fraud and cyber-crime and how to recognise when contact from HMRC is genuine. Take 5 offers impartial advice, helping prevent email, phone based and online fraud.


Graphic illustrating the Renfrewshire Coronavirus Business Support Fund Renfrewshire Coronavirus Business Support Fund

Renfrewshire Coronavirus Business Support Fund is a £1.3million Renfrewshire Council package of interest free loans and grants providing immediate help to businesses affected by the pandemic. It has been developed following detailed discussion with 500 local businesses and is designed to make the biggest difference in the short-term to businesses and people self-employed and also includes tailored guidance from the Council's in-house Business Gateway advisors.

How do I apply?

Read the information below on the Business Restart Loan; Business Resilience Grant and the Business Adaptation Grant and click on the relevant apply now link to complete the online application.

The online application sets out full eligibility criteria and details what you will need to provide.

Once you have completed your application, you will receive a confirmation email and following initial checks, one of our Business Gateway advisers will be in touch to discuss your application and all available support.

Graphic illustrating the Renfrewshire Business Restart Loan Business Restart Loan

The Business Restart Loan offers small and start-up businesses and people self-employed with interest free loans between £1,000 to £5,000 repayable up to three years, to assist with short-term cashflow. The loans are provided through partnership with Right Way Credit Union.

Apply now: Business Restart Loan

Graphic illustrating the Renfrewshire Business Resilience Grant Business Resilience Grant

The Business Resilience Grant is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and provides a 50% match-funded grant from £1,000 up to £10,000 to support small and medium sized businesses, including people self-employed, in meeting changed objectives and plans for growth. This includes purchase of new equipment, property expansion or improvements or the costs to exhibit or develop new products and processes. The grant is not able to be used towards employee wages, general purchase of stock or routine maintenance.

To qualify for support, the business must operate from a commercial premise in Renfrewshire.

Apply now: Business Resilience Grant

Graphic illustrating the Renfrewshire Business Adaptation Grant Business Adaptation Grant

The Business Adaptation Grant provides a match-funded grant from £1,000 to £2,500 to help small and medium sized businesses, including people self-employed, to adapt their premises to meet physical distancing requirements. This includes the purchase of screens, signage and protective equipment resulting from Coronavirus, but it is not able to be used towards employee wages, general purchase of stock or routine maintenance.

The grant is open to retrospective applications for businesses who have already purchased the necessary equipment. To qualify for support, the business must operate from a commercial premise in Renfrewshire. For expenditure between £1,000 and £2,000, the business pays the initial £1,000 and the grant will pay the difference; for expenditure between £2000 and £5000, the grant will pay 50% of costs.

Apply now: Business Adaptation Grant


Grants for businesses closed or impacted by protective measures

The Scottish Government has introduced the Coronavirus (COVID-19): Strategic Framework Business Fund to help businesses closed or impacted by the current protective measures across Scotland. Renfrewshire Council administers these grants on behalf of the Scottish Government to eligible Renfrewshire businesses.

Business Temporary Closure Grant

Businesses required to close by law can apply for a temporary closure grant. Eligible businesses with a rateable value up to and including £51,000 are entitled to a £2,000 grant and eligible businesses with a rateable value of £51,001 or above are entitled to a £3,000 grant, payable every four weeks for the duration protective measures are in place. An upper limit of £15,000 in total in any four-week period applies to eligible businesses operating multiple premises.

Business Restrictions Grant

Businesses remaining open but required to modify their operations by protective measures can apply for a grant of £1,400 if your business premises has a rateable value of up to and including £51,000 or a grant of £2,100 if your business premises has a rateable value of £51,001 or above. Grants are payable every four weeks for the duration protective measures are in place and an upper limit of £10,500 in total in any four-week period applies to any eligible business operating multiple premises.

Eligibility

The Scottish Government has set out the eligibility information and our online application form takes you through each stage of the eligibility criteria.

How to apply

To apply for either grant, please complete the online application form.

Businesses operating multiple premises can apply for grants for each eligible premise. You should apply to the local authority area in which your business is headquartered and are only required to submit one application form.

Applications can be made up to 31 March 2021.

Please complete the online application form and you will receive an automated message to confirm we've received your application. Our business team will then review your application and be in touch if they require further information.

Apply now: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Strategic Framework Business Fund online application

Payment

Grants are paid every four weeks in arrears and the first payment was due on or around 30 November 2020.

Where restrictions are extended beyond a four-week period or the level of protection in Renfrewshire changes, businesses do not need to reapply, with the grant entitlement reviewed and automatically awarded. When restrictions end, any final payment in arrears may be adjusted to reflect the duration of the restrictions to the nearest week.

We appreciate the importance of awarding these grants as quickly as possible and ask for your patience. We aim to pay the grants within three days of an approved application and payments will only be made into the business' bank account.

If you require further information, please email econdev@renfrewshire.gov.uk

Unsuccessful applicants will receive an email with the reason for the application being declined and applicants can email econdev@renfrewshire.gov.uk requesting we reconsider.


October restriction grants - appeals

The Scottish Government COVID-19 Restrictions Fund supported businesses impacted by the restrictions in place from 9 to 31 October. This fund is now closed and any appeals from Renfrewshire businesses to decisions, including any relevant documentation, should be submitted by email to econdev@renfrewshire.gov.uk by 4pm on Friday 11 December. Businesses impacted by the current protection measures can access support through the Strategic Framework Fund (outlined above).


Business PPE Pack

Graphic illustrating PPE packs for Renfrewshire businesses provided through Renfrewshire Council We have free Business PPE packs to provide to Renfrewshire businesses. The pack contains: hand-sanitising gel; a box of 100 vinyl gloves; a pack of 50 face masks and retailer focused Scottish Government window and door physical distancing posters, as well as a limited number of vinyl floor stickers where required.

When you request a pack, our team will be in touch to confirm your details. We've delivered 500 packs so far and are co-ordinating requests for a final delivery in December.

These packs are available to Renfrewshire businesses outside the Paisley Business Improvement District by emailing: renfrewshire@bgateway.com.

Paisley First has funded and supplied starter kits to members of the Business Improvement District. Any member who hasn't received a kit can contact ask@paisleyfirst.com for more details.


Kickstart in Renfrewshire

Kickstart is the UK Government scheme providing funding to employers to create new 6-month job placements for 16 to 24-year-olds who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. Funding covers: 100 per cent of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week together with the associated employer National Insurance and Employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions. There is also additional funding to support the young person to develop the skills and experience they need to find work after completing the placement. 

Kickstart is coming to Renfrewshire through a partnership between Renfrewshire Council's employability experts Invest in Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce and Engage Renfrewshire. Pooling our experience, we will bid for placements on behalf of Renfrewshire businesses and charities and help with skills and training support throughout the six-month placement.

If you are able to offer one or more job placements then please complete our Kickstart in Renfrewshire survey and we will be in touch to discuss the details. If you are looking to offer 30 placements or more, you can apply directly to the UK Government.

Kickstart in Renfrewshire survey

More details: Kickstart in Renfrewshire


Spend Local

Spend Local campaign logo Local businesses need your support - now more than ever.

Stay local, spend local and let's all do your bit to help. Around 65p from every pound spent locally, stays local - so by picking up that coffee, stopping off for lunch or buying that gift, you can do your bit to support the local community and its businesses.

Full details: Spend Local


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - also known as the Furlough scheme - is being extended until 31 March 2021.

All UK employers with a PAYE scheme have access to the scheme, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.

Full details: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme


Furlough Support Grant

The Scottish Government Furlough Support Grant provides businesses with grants of £1,650 to help meet the cost of re-furloughing staff, by supporting the 20% employer's contribution they are required to pay under the current UK Government Job Retention Scheme. This fund is open to Renfrewshire businesses who had to close due to the increased restrictions in place between 9 to 31 October 2020. An award of £1,650 will be made for each of the business premises where at least one employee is furloughed. Renfrewshire businesses who already applied to Renfrewshire Council and have received a Scottish Government Coronavirus Restrictions Closure Grant will be contacted by us directly, there is no need to reapply. Email econdev@renfrewshire.gov.uk for more information.


VAT Deferral

If you're a UK Value Added Tax (VAT) registered business and deferred a VAT payment due between 20 March and 30 June 2020, these are due following the end of the deferral period and will have to be paid as normal, on or before 31 March 2021.

Full details: HM Revenue & Customs VAT deferral


Business Rates

All non-domestic properties in Scotland will receive a 1.6% business rates relief, automatically applied to your bill by Renfrewshire Council. Visit our Business Rates web pages for more information on business rates relief available to businesses.

Full details: Business rates relief including coronavirus business rates relief.


Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Rebate Scheme

Businesses with fewer than 250 employees can reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence resulting from Coronavirus. This covers up to two weeks of Statutory Sick Pay per eligible employee. Employers should maintain staff absence records and payments of Statutory Sick Pay but don't require a GP fit note from an employee. The online service to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay is open.

Full details: Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme


Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme 

Businesses with an annual turnover up to £45million can apply to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) to access loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5million for up to six years. The schemed is delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the UK Government-owned British Business Bank.

Full details: Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme


Bounce Back Loan Scheme

Small and medium sized businesses affected by Coronavirus can borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 through the Bounce Back Loan Scheme. Loan terms will be up to six years and the UK Government will guarantee 100% of the loan, with no fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. The scheme is open to applications until 31 January 2021.

Full details: Bounce Back Loan Scheme


COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility

Larger firms affected by a short-term funding squeeze can access the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility which sees the Bank of England buy short-term debt.

Full details: COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility


Business Loans Scotland and West of Scotland Loan Fund

Businesses with existing loans from Business Loans Scotland or the West of Scotland Loan Fund will receive a three-month capital and interest holiday, applied directly by Business Loans Scotland. Please be aware, Business Loans Scotland is aware of a fraud using its name, asking for an upfront fee. Business Loans Scotland will never ask for an upfront fee.

Full details: Business Loans Scotland


HMRC Time to Pay Service 

Any business or person self-employed facing financial distress at this time and outstanding tax liabilities can contact HMRC for tailored tax relief support.

Full details: HMRC helpline


Insurance

On 5 March 2020, the UK Government added Coronavirus to its list of notifiable diseases. This ensures businesses with unspecified notifiable disease cover can make a claim, subject to the specific terms and conditions of their insurance policy. However, most commercial insurance policies are unlikely to cover pandemics or unspecified notifiable diseases, such as Coronavirus. Businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their insurance policy and contact the insurance provider for further information.


Future Fund

The UK Government has confirmed the creation of a Coronavirus Future Fund providing government loans between £125,000 to £5million, subject to equal match funding from private investors, to support innovative companies facing financial difficulties resulting from Coronavirus. These loans may be a suitable option for businesses that rely on equity investment and are unable to access the Business Interruption Loan Scheme. This scheme is open for applications until 31 January 2021.

Full details: Future Fund


Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme supports people self-employed or a member of a partnership, with a taxable grant. The scheme has been extended to provide two further grants, each available for three month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February 2021 to April 2021. The online service for the third grant is now available.

If you receive texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC, offering financial help or a tax refund and asking you to click on a link or to give personal information, it is a scam. Email it to phishing@hmrc@gov.uk and then delete it.

Full details: Self-employment Income Support Scheme


Income Tax Self-Assessment payments deferral

Check what you need to do if you chose to defer your July 2020 Income Tax self-assessment payment. You can still pay your deferred July 2020 payment on account any time up to 31 January 2021.

Full details: Self-assessment Income Tax Payments


Sector-specific support

Airports

Scottish airports and businesses providing airport handling services for scheduled passenger flights to Scottish airports receive 100% business rates relief for the 2020/21 tax year. 

Full details: Business rates relief including coronavirus business rates relief.


Charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises

Community Response, Recovery and Resilience fund

Local charities and grassroots organisations across Scotland can apply to Foundation Scotland for funding support between £1,000 and £5,000 to help them respond to Coronavirus and recover from its impact. 

Full details: Community Response, Recovery and Resilience fund


Scotland Loves Local Fund

Scotland's Towns Partnership is delivering the Scottish Government's Scotland Loves Local Fund which provides grants from £500 to £5,000 for projects to improve and promote local places and communities. The grants are open to constituted groups with bank accounts, such as community or development trusts, housing associations, Business Improvement Districts, charitable community groups and Cooperatives, Social Enterprises and the Third sector. Applications have now closed.

Full details: Scotland Loves Local Fund


Childcare providers

We have continued to fund Council-funded private and third sector providers of early learning and childcare throughout lockdown and easing of restrictions. Childcare providers can also access support from the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Rebate Scheme.


Creative and culture

Renfrewshire's Cultural Renewal and Recovery Fund

Renfrewshire's Cultural Recovery and Renewal Fund has been developed to support the cultural ecology of Renfrewshire in adapting to the impact of Covid-19. The Fund recognises the different elements needed to retain a healthy and sustainable cultural sector in Renfrewshire.

  • Artist Development Grants - in recognition of the important role Renfrewshire's freelance artists play in the area's cultural regeneration, at a time when artists' livelihoods are threatened by the impacts of Covid-19. 
  • Town Centre & Neighbourhood Creative Installations - established to support the animation of defined sites, such as empty shop windows or pedestrianised areas, in town centres and neighbourhoods across Renfrewshire.

Full details: Renfrewshire's Cultural Recovery and Renewal Fund 


Funding A-Z

Creative Scotland has collated an A-Z of funding and resources available to those in the creative community affected by Coronavirus.

Full details: Creative Scotland


Sustaining Creative Development fund

Creative Scotland has established the Sustaining Creative Development fund to help individuals and organisations explore ways of working that helps them to adapt and respond to the current changing circumstances. Funding available is between £1,000 and £50,000.

Full details: Sustaining Creative Development fund


Creative Freelancer Hardship Fund

This £5million fund from Creative Scotland helps address the current financial hardship being felt by creative freelancers who normally work in the culture sector, but whose work has been impacted by Covid-19.

Full details: Creative Freelancer Hardship Fund


Youth Arts Fund

This Creative Scotland fund will ensure creative opportunities for children and young people continue to exist across Scotland despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

The fund will include targeted and open funding to youth music and wider youth arts organisations, a scheme to devolve grants locally to artists who work with young people and small grants delivered directly to young people to support them fulfil their creative ambitions.

Full details: Youth Arts Fund


Retail, Hospitality and Leisure

Business rates relief

Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses receive 100% business rates relief for the 2020/21 tax year, automatically applied by Renfrewshire Council. Business properties must be occupied to receive this relief, with those businesses temporarily closed due to Coronavirus considered as occupied.

Full details: Business rates relief including coronavirus business rates relief


Outdoor seating for cafés, pubs and restaurants

We understand some cafes, pubs and restaurants will be considering adapting their premise to provide outdoor tables and seating. We want to help you, here's what you need to consider.

You will need a 'pavement permit' which can be requested by emailing our Roads team at ei@renfrewshire.gov.uk or call 0300 300 0380.

If customers will be served alcohol outside, you will need an occasional licence. To download the application form and for more details, visit Occasional Licences. Our Licensing team can also advise by email to licensing.cs@renfrewshire.gov.uk

If you are providing a cover over the seating area, such as a pergola, you may need a building warrant and planning permission. For more details on a building warrant, contact our Building Standards team by email to bc@renfrewshire.gov.uk.

For support, information and queries on planning, email dc@renfrewshire.gov.uk or call 0141 618 7835. The planning team can also advise about Advertisement Consent, should you wish to use screens or umbrellas featuring corporate branding.

Timescales can vary depending on the consent required, but we will aim to respond as quickly as possible. We will be as supportive as we can for a business looking to adapt its premise, but it's best to talk to our officers as unfortunately not all proposals will be acceptable.


Food retailers

Food retailers looking to introduce takeaway and delivery options for their customers should read our advice and guidance page.

Full details: Food retailer guidance


Heritage organisations

Covid-19 Museum Development Fund

Local Authority museums, museums managed by ALEOs and University museums can apply to Museums Galleries Scotland for up to £60,000 to deliver projects that will help them build resilience and address some of the challenges brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic. There will be two rounds of funding before the end of March 2021.

Full details: Covid-19 Museum Development Fund


Private Rent Landlords

The Scottish Government has established the Private Rent Sector Landlord COVID-19 Loan Scheme, offering eligible landlords up to 100% of lost rental income for a single property. It supports private-sector landlords not classified as businesses who have five properties or less and have lost rental income due to tenants unable to pay rent because of Coronavirus through a short-term emergency interest free loan. The scheme has closed for the period March to September 2020, and will soon be accepting applications from those experiencing or expecting to experience a loss of rental income for the period August 2020 - March 2021.

Full details: Private Rent Sector Landlord COVID-19 Loan Scheme


Soft play centres and nightclubs

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Business Contingency Fund

Nightclubs and soft-play centres can receive support from the Scottish Government through the first phase of its Coronavirus (COVID-19): Business Contingency Fund. Our Council business support staff are contacting eligible businesses directly to gather information in support of a claim.

Full details: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Business Contingency Fund


Water providers

Detailed guidance of support for licensed water providers is outlined by Scottish Water.

Full details: Scottish Water