Coronavirus - information for businesses


Guidance on re-opening of shops, indoor hospitality and food businesses >

Preparing for Phase 3 in Argyll and Bute - Guidance on reopening of non-essential retail shops, and outdoor seating areas for restaurants, cafes and licensed premises. 

Scottish Government Guidance for the tourism and hospitality sector:

Financial support for businesses

You can use this business support finder to see what support is available for you and your business:

Business support finder

The UK and Scottish Governments have announced a package of support to assist businesses.  You can find out more at COVID-19 UK Govt Support for business and FindBusinessSupportScotland.

You can find details of the different types of support below:

Business Support Fund

Applications to the Business Support Fund closed at 5pm on Friday 10th July 2020

  • If you made an application in the past 10 working days and have not yet heard the outcome, please be assured that this will be processed and we will contact you in due course. If we require further information to process your application, we will contact you and you must provide this by the date specified, otherwise we will consider you to have withdrawn your application.
  • If you previously applied for a grant but we requested further information from you in order to assess your application, then you must provide this by 5pm on Friday 31st July, otherwise we will consider you to have withdrawn your application.
  • If you previously applied for a grant but were considered ineligible, you may request an internal review of your case. Requests for an internal review received after 5pm on Friday July 31st will not be considered.
  • If you previously applied for a grant but your application was dependant on the views of the Assessor (for example to determine if the premises should be included in the Non-Domestic Rates Valuation Roll), this may be delayed until the Assessor is able to make a site visit. In such cases, where possible, we will endeavour to process your application using other evidence.
  • If you made an application prior to the past 10 working days and have not been advised of the outcome, you should contact us on

You can still refer to the Business Support Grant Frequently Asked Questions for more information about Business Support Grants - this information will be available until the end of July 2020

If you have any questions about applying for the grant contact the Council’s Coronavirus Caring for People Helpline Service on 01546 605524 and select option 2 (Business Related Help) followed by option 1 (Applying for the Business Support Grant).

For further information:

Further information on the Small Business Grant Scheme is available on the Scottish Government website

Coronavirus Support Scheme for Self-Catering Businesses

VisitScotland will deliver £1 million in grants to self-catering businesses that have not received any other Scottish Government COVID-19 support. Businesses that apply and meet the criteria will be eligible for a one-off £10,000 grant to support them through the winter season.

Applications are now open, until 10 August at 5pm on a first come first served basis

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

This is a temporary scheme open to all UK employers which has now been extended to 31st October 2020. Employers can use the scheme anytime during this period but the scheme closed to new entrants from 30 June. From this point onwards, employers will only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full 3 week period prior to 30 June. This means that the final date by which an employer needs to agree with their employee and ensure they place them on furlough is 10 June. Employers will have until 31 July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30 June.

Employers can claim for 80% of furloughed employees’ (employees on a leave of absence) usual monthly wages costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage.

From July, workers will be able to return to their jobs part-time, with employers being asked to pay towards the salaries of their furloughed staff.

The Scottish Government is in discussions with the UK Treasury about how the changes to this scheme will apply in Scotland, where Scottish companies are being urged not to call staff back to work early while the coronavirus lockdown remains in place.

The scheme is open to all UK employers that had created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 19th March 2020.

Guidance and how to claim

Coronavirus Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund

Applications for the Coronavirus Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund closed at 5pm on Friday 10th July as specified by the Scottish Government and no new applications can be accepted.

Coronavirus Bed & Breakfast and Small Serviced Accomodation Provider Hardship Fund

Applications for the Coronavirus Bed & Breakfast and Small Serviced Accomodation Hardship Fund closed at 5pm on Friday 10th July as specified by the Scottish Government and no new applications can be accepted.

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

If you're self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been adversely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) find out if you can use this scheme to claim a grant.

The scheme has been extended. If you were eligible for the first grant and can confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, you’ll be able to make a claim for a second and final grant from 17 August 2020. You can make a claim for the second grant if you’re eligible, even if you did not make a claim for the first grant.

The scheme allows you to claim a second and final taxable grant worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.
As with the first grant HMRC will contact you if you’re eligible. HMRC will work out your eligibility for the second grant in the same way as the first grant. The scheme is now closed to new claims for the first grant.


Bounce Back Loan Scheme

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) enables smaller businesses to access finance more quickly during the coronavirus outbreak. Small and medium-sized businesses can borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover. The maximum loan available is £50,000. There won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months and after that interest rate will be 2.5% a year.

Guidance and how to apply

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) helps small and medium-sized businesses to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £5 million. You will need to show that your business would be viable were it not for the pandemic and that it has been adversely impacted by the coronavirus.

Guidance and how to apply

There are over 50 lenders participating in the scheme including all the main retail banks. You should approach a suitable lender yourself via the lender’s website. The lender will decide whether to offer you a loan or another type of finance and you’ll be responsible for repaying 100% of the amount borrowed. The government will pay the interest and any fees for the first 12 months.

Non domestic Rates relief

ALL non-domestic properties in Scotland will get a 1.6% rates relief. 

Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will get 100% rates relief. To get this relief, a property has to be occupied.

These reliefs will be available to non-domestic properties from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021.

You do not need to apply for these reliefs as they will be applied to your bill by the Council.

If you are struggling to pay your non-domestic rates bill you should contact the Council and ask about your payment options.

Further information on non-domestic rates relief is available on the Scottish Government website

Support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees

If you're an employer, find out if you can use the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to claim back employees' coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). The refund can cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19

If you cannot pay your tax bill on time because of coronavirus (COVID-19)

Contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as soon as possible if you have missed a payment. Because of coronavirus you may be able to delay (defer) your Self Assessment payment on account due in July 2020 until 31 January 2021. Contact the HMRC coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline if you cannot pay any other tax bills because of coronavirus.

Business Gateway

Help and advice your business is available from Business Gateway.

You can talk to one of the local business advisers, free and in confidence.

Online guides, tutorials and further resources are available on the website -

Contact the local team via 01546 604555 or

This week is National Mental Health Awareness Week and below you will find a list of resources that Business Gateway has created to help business owners manage their own mental health and wellbeing and that of their staff.

Support for Private Landlords

The Scottish Government short-term emergency loan scheme can provide an interest-free loan is available to landlords who have five or fewer rental properties and will fund lost rental income from a single property. It is designed to take the pressure off landlords, in the short-term, if their tenants are having difficulty making rent payments.


Please check back regularly for updates
page last updated: 14/07/20 12:00