Coronavirus: Support for businesses
We appreciate that this is a very difficult time for your business and we are here to support you as much as we can.
The Council's Economic Development service is focussed on supporting businesses through this difficult period and has produced Re-opening after Coronavirus: guidance for businesses [1Mb] re-opening in Phase 2.
In addition to highlighting support on offer from the Council and its partners, we will also relay Government announcements and signpost you towards the most up-to-date information available to us as a local authority. Our aim is to be clear, transparent and jargon free in order to offer a direct, reliable and accurate source of information for businesses of all sizes.
We understand the sense of urgency that you, as an employer and business leader, must be feeling and know that ideally you would like answers to all of your questions. Unfortunately, in these unprecedented times we simply cannot speculate as to timescales, future developments and therefore what the overall impact will be for businesses across Perth and Kinross.
What we can assure you of is our support wherever possible, as you begin to scrutinise the financial resilience and resource contingency of your business. If you have information that may be useful to other business owners and leaders, please do send this to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Scottish Government have set up a business support helpline (0300 303 0660) for all business support enquiries in Scotland and request that businesses needing guidance contact them in the first instance on this number.
Additional advice is available on their website: https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/coronavirus-advice/.
How we can help
Immediately, and as we move towards economic recovery, the Council can provide you with advice and funding relating to:
Business rates relief
Non-Domestic Rates customers, who are experiencing any current payment difficulties for whatever reason, are encouraged to contact our Local Taxes team, where a member of our team will be happy to assist:
- Email: email@example.com
- Tel: 01738 477430 (option 4)
In the meantime, customers can continue to have access to our 24/7 online payment facility and information on rates relief which is currently available on our non domestic rates web page.
The Scottish Government have announced new measures to limit the impact of COVID-19 during Financial Year 2020/21. These include:-
- 1.6% rates relief for all properties across Scotland, effectively reversing the planned below inflation uplift in the poundage from 1 April 2020
- a 100% rates relief for all premises used wholly or mainly for retail, hospitality and leisure purposes
Neither relief has to be applied for and will be included in your Non-Domestic Rates bill for 2020/21.
Please look out for an enclosure, which will be issued in the near future along with your Non-Domestic Rates for Financial Year 2020/21.
Guidance for re-opening
We have produced Re-opening after Coronavirus: guidance for businesses [1Mb] for retail and hospitality businesses planning to re-open. This should be read in conjunction with Spaces for People bid plans for increased pedestrian and cyclist safety in Perth and Kinross to alter pedestrian and other access to Perth City and some town centres to ensure physical distancing.
As we move through the phases of the Scottish Government Route Map an increasing number of businesses will be permitted to open. The Council recognises how important it is for businesses to begin to operate again, however we must also ensure it is done safely and that the risks to public health are managed. Over the coming weeks Officers from our Trading Standards and Environmental Health teams will be visiting businesses across the area to carry out compliance spot checks. Although it is anticipated that most business operators will take their responsibilities seriously and may only require advice or guidance, Officers will have the ability to revisit premises or take enforcement action should significant breaches be identified.
Prior to reopening, businesses must complete a risk assessment which is to be kept under review and amended as businesses start to operate. There is information and guidance available to business operators, including sectoral specific guidance:
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): retail sector guidance
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): tourism and hospitality guidance
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): alcohol and civic licensing
- COVID-19 guidance for food business operators and their employees
- UKH reopening guidance for hospitality in Scotland
- Health and Safety Executive Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest information and advice
New market development grants
To help businesses plan for a return to more normal trading conditions, the Council is offering grants of up to £2500 for projects aimed at establishing new markets with customers across the wider UK or internationally. The grant is open to all micro, small and medium sized companies in the Council area. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Recruitment and training incentives
Our employability team can assist with the rural employment incentives and other recruitment and training support during and after this ongoing difficult period, please email email@example.com or call them on 01738 459609 to discuss further. More information can be found on our Skills and employment initiatives page.
E-bulletin for businesses
We have also begun issuing a regular e-bulletin for local businesses: see the links below for the most recent bulletins. To sign up, visit the Invest in Perth website.