Support for business

Coronavirus: support for Highland businesses

Highland Council appreciate that this is a very difficult time for your business and we are here to support you as much as we can.

This webpage seeks to give a clear guide to the range of support announced for business, their employees and the self employed by the UK Government, the Scottish Government and the Council. The advice from both governments is evolving and we will continue to update this page as further information becomes available.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) support is available to employers and the self-employed. Businesses may be eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants, whether the business is open or closed.

To find out what support is available, use the Government's support finder.

Wage support

Business will be able to secure a subsidy towards the salary costs of their employees who otherwise would have been laid off. Called the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme employers will be able to secure up to 80% of the cost of an employee's cost up to a maximum of £2500 per month per employee until end of May 2020.

HMRC will deliver this wage subsidy and as of 15th April 2020 there have been updates on payroll date, pension contributions and eligibility.

Businesses can check if they are eligible and how much they can claim to cover wages for employees on temporary leave ('furlough') due to coronavirus (COVID-19) on the Government's Job Retention Scheme web page.

The Cornonvirus Business Interruption Scheme has been extended. SME's with annual turnover of up to £45m can access loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million for up to 6 years. All viable SME's now eligible.

Sick Pay

Small-and medium-sized businesses and employers will be able to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. They will be able to reclaim 2 weeks' SSP per eligible employee. There will be no need to provide a Doctors Fit Note but employers need to maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP.

No detailed arrangements are yet available on how the repayment mechanism will work and how to apply.

Advice

Visit our Business Gateway service. This includes a range of guidance and information online about business continuity planning, and a number of additional related articles, including webinars and tutorials to support you.

The Business Gateway Highland team can be contacted on 01463 896791.

Further information and advice on support from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to help with the impact of COVID-19 can be found on the UK Government's dedicated support page.

To manage calls during the current COVID-19 emergency the team will operate a call back service.

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