Categories
Business Carers Children Education

Increased Support for Childminders

Payments will support business sustainability.

Grants of £750 are being paid to all registered childminders in Scotland in order to secure the sustainability of their businesses.

Funding of more than £3.2 million has been made available to ensure that all childminders registered with the Care Inspectorate will receive the flat-rate payment.

While up to £1 million had been planned for need-assessed grants, additional resource has been invested to ensure payments can be made to all registered childminders. This will simplify and speed up the process, ensuring the money reaches those that need it as quickly as possible.

Children’s Minister Maree Todd said:

“Childminders are a vital and valued part of our childcare sector, providing high quality care and learning in a safe and nurturing environment.

“Just as many other childcare providers have experienced financial pressures as a result of the pandemic and the restrictions that have been placed on them, childminders too have raised genuine concern about the future sustainability of their businesses.

“I’m pleased that we have been able to increase the funding available to support the profession, and by simplifying the process we will be able to get the funds to those who need them more quickly.”

Background

Information about support for the childcare sector

Childminding Action Plan

Categories
Business Education Mental Health

Non-domestic Rates Relief Extended

Extra money for mental health, education and tackling poverty.

Retail, hospitality, leisure and aviation businesses will pay no rates during 2021-22 under proposals outlined today.

It is one of a series of measures proposed by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes following confirmation of a further £1.1 billion of consequential funding arising from UK Government coronavirus (COVID-19) spending.

The move builds on the three month rates relief extension announced in the Scottish Budget and will be taken forward provided the Scottish Government receives the funding already assumed from the UK Budget on 3 March, and that requisite funds are available to maintain existing support into 2021-22.

Newspapers will also continue to benefit from 100% relief for a further 12 months, while charitable rates relief will not be removed from mainstream independent schools until 1 April 2022 due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic.

Other extra spending in 2021-22 arising from the latest consequentials includes:

  • £120 million for mental health
  • £120 million for affordable housing
  • £100 million to support people on low incomes
  • £60 million for schools to help pupils catch-up on missed education
  • £60 million for NHS recovery
  • £45 million for heat decarbonisation, energy efficiency and fuel poverty
  • £21.5 million for Scottish Enterprise

Separately, local authorities will receive an extra £275 million in the current financial year to address COVID-19 pressures, while a further £40 million is being made available to support the safe reopening of schools.

Ms Forbes said:

“When I presented our budget last month I guaranteed to extend non-domestic rates relief further if I was given the necessary resources. I can now deliver on that promise, providing the UK Budget in March delivers the funding we require.

“The other measures I am proposing today, including further support for hospitals, schools and local government and measures to tackle climate change, build on our priorities to ensure a robust recovery for our economy and public services.

“This welcome additional consequential funding was confirmed to us yesterday and I wanted give early notice to parliament and provide clarity to businesses.

“We are still in the throes of a national emergency and it is important Parliament works together to respond. I will continue to work with all parties to help deliver a budget for the nation fit for these times.”

Background

A copy of the Finance Secretary’s Budget Update statement to the Scottish Parliament is available online.

Last month’s Scottish Budget 2021-22 estimated how much consequential funding would flow from the delayed UK Budget on 3 March, with £500 million assumed to be provided.

Categories
Business Coronavirus

More Business Support Now Live

£60 million for newly self-employed, close contact businesses and driving instructors.

Two funds to support people whose livelihoods have been affected by the pandemic are now open to applications

Grants will be available for mobile and home-based close contact service businesses – such as make-up artists and hairdressers – as well as registered driving instructors.

The Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund, which paid out more than £11 million in vital support last year, will also re-open for a second round.

Both funds will provide £4,000 grants to successful applicants. Full eligibility details are available online.

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said:

“These new funds will support harder to reach businesses and newly self-employed people across Scotland as we continue to focus our efforts on helping those who are not captured by UK Government schemes.

“We’ve committed more than £3 billion to support businesses and protect jobs during the pandemic and I would encourage all those affected to check what support is available to help them through such a challenging time.”

Background

Full information on the Mobile and Home-Based Close Contact Services Fund and the Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund

Statistics published last week showed £244 million was paid to businesses through three funds in January alone.

COVID-19 advice and funding information is available via the Find Business Support website.

Categories
Business

Scotland’s Vision for Trade

Economic, social and climate ambitions at heart of approach.

The blueprint for how Scotland will do business around the globe has been published by Trade Minister Ivan McKee.

Scotland’s Vision for Trade sets out five principles which will guide all future decisions on international trade: Inclusive Growth, Wellbeing, Sustainability, Net Zero and Good Governance.

These principles will be used to address key trade challenges facing our economy, people and the planet.

The Scottish Government will partner with businesses which share these principles and work to improve their trading environment, promoting fair work and a just transition to net zero.

To support this, the Scottish Government is also calling on the UK Government to:

  • protect the NHS – which the UK Government must make a red line in any trade negotiation
  • make compliance with fundamental human rights and the Paris Climate Agreement absolute limits for the initiation of FTA negotiations
  • prioritise building on the Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the EU to uphold high standards, for example through Mutual Recognition Agreements for key goods sectors

Mr McKee said:

“Scotland’s Vision for Trade sets out our stall for the future and is clear about the kind of country we want to be. How we trade is as important as what we trade and our values-based approach will guide how we do business around the world and ensure that people, businesses and other governments know who we are and what we represent as a nation.

“But this trade vision is much more than just a statement of our guiding principles. It identifies 11 key global trade challenges and how Scotland will use the levers at our disposal to respond in practical terms now and in the future, and articulates how we will assess our progress on meeting these challenges on an annual basis.

“This publication comes during an unprecedented period of disruption and uncertainty. The pandemic continues to impact our health and wellbeing, our businesses and the economy. At the same time, the UK Government’s last minute Brexit deal, which takes Scotland out of the world’s largest Single Market and Customs Union, will be hugely damaging for our country and our economy.

“In this challenging context, trade is all the more important as a means to deliver sustainable, inclusive growth and contribute to a wellbeing economy.

“Despite our consistent and powerful case for a formal and comprehensive role for devolved administrations in all stages of the development of future UK trade arrangements, we have been frustrated by a lack of meaningful engagement by the UK Government. To conduct a successful trade policy a broader range of tools is needed, so our Vision for Trade also asks that the UK Government use all levers at their disposal to support Scotland’s economy, people and the planet.”

Background:

Read Scotland’s Trade Vision

Scotland’s five trade principles are: Inclusive Growth, Wellbeing, Sustainability, Net Zero and Good Governance. These have been be applied to 11 of today’s biggest trade challenges affecting Scotland’s economy, people and the planet, including:

  • influencing the trading environment
  • digital trade
  • winners and losers from international trade
  • supporting public services through trade
  • balancing cost, value and protections for consumers
  • climate, nature and trade
  • multilateral trading system and dispute settlement
  • Scotland’s role as a trading partner

In line with our Programme for Government commitment, we will ensure that our trade support for the Oil and Gas sector will be conditional on measures assisting the sustainable energy transition.

We will consult with the industry on our proposal to end all Scottish Government overseas trade backing and promotion activities solely focused on fossil fuel goods and services by COP26. There will be legitimate exceptions to the withdrawal of support where it is clear that the work is essential for a fair and just energy transition, such as decommissioning.

In implementing this, we will work with industry and consider the outcome of the UK Government consultation, including aligning with UK exemptions in so far as they fall within Scottish Government trade support and promotion activities.

Categories
Business Community Coronavirus Environment

Budget to Support Net-Zero Transformation

Record funding to deliver Scotland’s green recovery.

The Scottish Government will invest a record £1.9 billion in tackling climate change and creating good, green jobs in 2021/22.

Delivery of a ground-breaking £1.6 billion investment to transform heat and energy efficiency of buildings will get under way, directly supporting up to 5,000 jobs and tackling fuel poverty while rapidly accelerating the decarbonisation of an area which makes up a quarter of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Other highlights include delivering the first wave of the £2 billion Low Carbon Fund, including, in the first year alone, £14 million for the Green Jobs Fund. The heat in buildings budget will increase by £30 million to £213.4 million, while spending in forestry has been increased by £26.9 million to £121.2 million.

Further investment will support the delivery of major, multi-year commitments, including:

  • a £250 million peatland restoration programme
  • £120 million for zero-emission buses
  • over £500 million for Active Travel
  • £70 million to improve waste and recycling infrastructure
  • over £500 million for bus priority infrastructure.

To ensure Scotland realises the full benefits of COP26 in Glasgow, £8 million will be targeted to showcase the country’s global leadership in tackling climate change, accelerate climate goals both domestically and globally, and develop Scotland’s international influence whilst attracting green investment and innovation. An ongoing commitment to support countries most affected by the climate emergency will be met with £3 million for international climate justice.

Environment and Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said:

“This is a Budget which rightly focuses on tackling the COVID-19 crisis and supporting our people, health service and economy in the immediate term, but it also lays the foundations to rebuild a fairer, stronger, and greener Scotland.

“Our commitment to tackling the twin crisis of climate change and biodiversity loss is unwavering and this cross-government investment ensures we support the transformational change required to become net-zero by 2045 – doing so in a way that protects our environment, creates good, green jobs and ensures no-one is left behind.

“Our commitment to ensuring Scotland’s recovery from COVID-19 is green has been prioritised despite the significant financial challenges of COVID-19, delays to the UK Budget, the UK Government Spending Review worsening our capital position and key powers remaining reserved to Westminster.

“2021 is a vital year for climate action and COP26 in Glasgow puts Scotland at the centre of a global to protect our people and planet. This Budget enhances Scotland’s role as an international climate leader, backing up the world’s toughest climate target framework with on-the-ground delivery.”

Categories
Business Community Coronavirus

Rebuilding the Economy

Investing in jobs and skills.

Supporting people into employment and equipping them with skills they need will be at the heart of the economic recovery, backed with £1.1 billion of investment under the proposed Scottish Budget 2021-22.

Additional investment of £125 million will go towards the Young Person’s Guarantee, the National Transition Training Fund and other initiatives ensuring the future workforce has the skills needed for a green recovery and supporting those at risk of long term unemployment. This includes personalised employment support and retraining for those who have been made unemployed or are at risk of redundancy due to the pandemic.

Since November the Young Person’s Guarantee has provided funding for around 18,000 opportunities for people aged between 16 and 24 to help them into work.

Other funding for 2021-22 includes:

  • £230 million for Skills Development Scotland to deliver training
  • £100 million Green Jobs Fund to be delivered over the next Parliament
  • £27 million for national employability service Fair Start Scotland
  • £21 million towards Foundation and Graduate Apprenticeships
  • £5 million for Community Jobs Scotland to create job opportunities for unemployed people aged 16 to 29

Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:

“The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted economies throughout the world and while Scotland’s economy has performed slightly better than the UK as a whole, the necessary restrictions to suppress the virus are continuing to impact economic activity.

“As well as providing emergency support to businesses to help them through this crisis, it is vital that we plan for the future. By providing our workforce with the support, skills and experience needed to drive a green economic recovery, we will ensure that our investment in a just transition protects and creates jobs.

“The Young Person Guarantee has to go hand in hand with economic recovery in Scotland. During this crisis we have taken action to support our young people who have been some of the hardest hit by the pandemic. This funding allows us to build on that success and meet additional demand.

“It also provides opportunities for those already in employment to upskill or retrain and supporting those who are further from the labour market in partnership with local authorities, third and private sectors to ensure no one is left behind.

“Underpinning everything will be our commitment to working in partnership with employers to invest in workforce development, create diverse and inclusive workplaces and pay people fairly for the work they do.”

Background

The Young Person’s Guarantee aims to give every young person the opportunity to study, take up an apprenticeship, a job or work experience or participate in formal volunteering within the next two years. £60 million was allocated to support the Young Person’s Guarantee in 2020/21.

Information about the 18,000 opportunities the Young Person’s Guarantee has provided funding for has been published. 

Categories
Business Coronavirus

More Financial Support for Businesses

£7.3 million for travel agents, brewers and indoor football centres.

Three new funds to support businesses uniquely affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will launch this week.

From today, local authorities will start to approach brewers, travel agents and indoor football centres inviting them to claim grants of £10,000 or £25,000. A higher payment of £30,000 will be available to the largest brewers.

Councils will brief around 400 eligible businesses on their potential entitlement and ask them to provide supporting information and bank account details. Owners do not need to apply, or contact the local authority.

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said:

“We started 2021 in a way none of us envisaged nor wanted, with additional measures in place to limit the spread of the new strain of COVID-19, protect our NHS and save lives.

“These funds recognise the unprecedented challenges that brewers, travel agents and indoor football centres have experienced since March as a result of necessary restrictions.

“We are acutely aware that this support can never compensate for the full impact on business, but we must work within the resources that are available to us, and we continue to respond to the evolving economic challenges arising from the pandemic.”

Background

The Scottish Government has allocated £3 billion in business support since the start of the pandemic on top of support available through the UK Government.

Grants available:

• £10,000 for premises which have a rateable value of up to and including £18,000
• £25,000 for premises which have a rateable value of £18,001 or above
• £30,000 for brewers only operating a property with a rateable value of over £51,000 or production over 5,000HL in 2019

More information on the Brewers Support Fund

More information on Support for Travel Agents

More information on Support for Indoor Football Centres

Categories
Business Coronavirus

Supporting the Wedding Sector

Increased fund to go live this week.

A £25 million fund to support the wedding sector and its supply chain will open to applications this week.

In recognition of the ongoing challenges faced by the sector, a further £10 million has been added to the £15 million announced in December.

Launching on Thursday (28 January) the fund will provide one-off grants of up to £25,000 for eligible businesses in the sector impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including wedding venues, photographers, caterers and suppliers.

The fund will be managed regionally by Scotland’s three enterprise agencies – South of Scotland Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Finance Minister Kate Forbes said:

“This £25 million fund will ensure one-off grants of up to £25,000 reach eligible business as quickly as possible and there is no equivalent fund in other parts of the UK.

“The pandemic has had a severe impact on Scotland’s wedding sector, and we know that the current restrictions, while entirely necessary in our fight against COVID-19, continue to take their toll on the sector. I’d encourage all those who think they are eligible to find out more about applying – we want to help as many businesses survive this pandemic as we can.

“We have allocated over £3 billion to help businesses since the start of this pandemic. However, we know it can never compensate for the unprecedented affect this has had on business. We will continue to work with the resources available to us to protect businesses and build a stronger recovery for Scotland.”

The Scottish Wedding Industry Alliance’s (SWIA) Co-Founder Caroline Inchyra said:

“On behalf of the Scottish wedding industry, we are delighted that the sector has secured £25 million funding from the Scottish Government.

“We must thank the Scottish Government for recognising the wedding industry as a vital sector in the Scottish economy, and the enterprise agencies for working with us to ensure this fund has as much impact as possible.

“This funding will give renewed hope to the many businesses who have been unable to operate in a viable way for almost a year.

“The SWIA looks forward to a continued positive working relationship with Scottish Government as the wedding industry navigates a path through the most difficult trading conditions this highly resilient sector has ever faced.”

Professor Russel Griggs OBE, Chair of South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) said:

“At this extremely difficult time, all three enterprise agencies are pleased to be working with the Scottish Government to offer support through the Scottish Wedding Industry Fund.

“This fund aims to support those businesses whose main income comes from the wedding sector. The industry supports a significant number of jobs, with over 26,000 weddings and civil partnerships taking place in Scotland in 2019.

“The wedding industry is particularly vital to the South of Scotland, which in 2019 hosted almost 5,000 ceremonies – more than 18% of the national total – and in Gretna Green has one of the most iconic wedding locations in the world.

“This is one of the most challenging times any of us has ever faced but all three enterprise agencies are fully committed to supporting as many local businesses as possible in to survive this pandemic and hopefully look forward to a brighter future.”

Background:

Visit Find Business Support for more information.

Businesses must be in one of the following sectors;

  • Venues
  • Videographers
  • Photographers
  • Marquee Hire (includes tipi)
  • Wedding Attire
  • Florists & Event Stylists
  • Caterers
  • Cakes
  • Transport (not including taxis)
  • Event Supplies (Cater hire, decorative items)
  • Hairdressers & Make-up Artists (Non-mobile)
  • Entertainment (Band, DJ, Piper, String Quartet)
  • Jewellery Designers/Makers/Sellers
  • Wedding Exhibitions/Events
  • Wedding Publications or Listing Sites
  • Celebrants
  • Wedding Stationery
  • Other Specialist Niche Suppliers (Photo Booth, Event nannies, event planners etc)
Categories
Business Coronavirus

Extending Support For Hospitality, Retail And Leisure

January grants top-up announced.

A significant top-up to the grant support available for hospitality, retail and leisure businesses across Scotland closed by level 4 restrictions will be paid following an announcement by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes.

In addition to the grants businesses receive through the Strategic Business Framework Fund, eligible businesses will also get a one off grant of:

  • £25,000 for larger hospitality businesses on top of the 4-weekly £3,000
  • £6,000 for smaller hospitality businesses on top of the 4-weekly £2,000
  • £9,000 for larger retail and leisure businesses on top of the 4-weekly £3,000
  • £6,000 for smaller retail and leisure businesses on top of the 4-weekly £2,000

In most cases, eligible businesses that have already applied for the 4-weekly payment from the Strategic Framework Business Fund will get an automatic top-up.

For the majority, this top-up will be combined with the next tranche of payment for the Strategic Framework Business Fund due to go to businesses on 25 January.

Businesses that haven’t yet applied for either of these funds should submit an application as soon as possible through their local authority website. Applications are now open.

Ms Forbes said:

“Since the start of the pandemic Scottish Government support for business and the economy has reached almost £3 billion – more than a third of our total coronavirus (COVID-19) funding, demonstrating our commitment to provide as much help as we possibly can to our businesses.

“As promised, this additional support for hospitality, retail and leisure businesses will be available this month, in some cases doubling or tripling the amount of support we are providing. Applications are open now and payment will be made this month.

“Crucially this essential funding will also help to close the gaps in UK wide support for these impacted sectors and our one-off support for larger hospitality premises of £25,000 is considerably more generous than the £9,000 grant on offer in England.

“I’d encourage all eligible businesses to apply through their local authority if they have not done so already. Of course we are acutely aware that this support can never compensate for the full impact on business, but we must work within the resources that are available to us, and we continue to respond to the evolving economic challenges arising from the pandemic.”

David Lonsdale, Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium said:

“Shops and high streets across Scotland have been left reeling by coronavirus. These enhanced cash grants for retail business are a financial lifeline which will help non-essential stores through the current phase of being unable to open and trade.

“There isn’t a taxpayer-funded support scheme which can replace the potential losses of store closures, so it is very encouraging that the Finance Secretary has listened and responded positively.”

Background:

  • larger hospitality businesses are those with a rateable value of £51,001 or more
  • smaller hospitality businesses are those with a rateable value of £51,000 or less
  • larger retail and leisure businesses are those with a rateable value of £51,001
  • smaller retail and leisure businesses are those with a rateable value of £51,000 or less

For more information visit Find Business Support 

Categories
Business Coronavirus

New £185 Million Package For Scottish Businesses

COVID-19 assistance targets sectors in need.

Businesses across Scotland will benefit from a new £185 million package of targeted coronavirus (COVID-19) support.

The announcement follows discussions with business groups and sees a wide range of sectors benefiting, from taxi drivers and arts venues to travel agents and hospitality.

In addition, there will be additional one-off payments to hospitality businesses in January to help them deal with the traditional post-Christmas dip in demand. These will be of £2,000 or £3,000, depending on rateable value.

The package was announced by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes, who also said she had written to the Treasury calling for Scotland to receive its share of rates relief reimbursed by supermarkets “to ensure this is spent on those areas hardest hit as part of Scotland’s recovery from COVID-19”.

Ms Forbes said:

“Today I am pleased to confirm an allocation of £185 million for new and additional business support in the new year. We have listened to businesses and this assistance will be provided on a sector-by-sector basis, targeted at those who need it most.

“We are developing grant schemes for hospitality, for the events sector, live music and cultural venues, for the arts, indoor football centres and for the food and drink sector, including £1.8 million for brewers.

“We will give £1.5 million to travelling show people ineligible for other support, while a new £19 million fund, plus a one-off grant, will help taxi drivers.

“I can also announce that further support of £60 million will be provided to the tourism sector, details of which will be developed in consultation with the industry.

“I am listening to the needs of business and we will continue to review and refine our COVID-19 support offer within the available resources.”

Specific support detailed in today’s announcement includes:

  • £15 million for the wedding sector and its supply chain, including photographers
  • one-off grants totalling £15 million for mobile close contact services, such as hairdressers
  • a £19 million fund and one-off grants for taxi drivers
  • £5 million for travel agents
  • almost £6 million for coach companies and tour operators
  • £1.5 million for visitor attractions

Background

More detail on the package will be announced in the coming days and businesses can expect to apply for all the new grant schemes in January.

Categories
Business Coronavirus

Latest COVID-19 Funding Allocations

Money for business support and vaccine programme.

More than £1.8 billion of extra funding has been allocated to tackling the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Scotland.

It covers areas including health, transport and business support, accounting for all but £330 million of the latest consequentials generated by UK Government spending. The remainder will be used to meet further urgent demands relating to both COVID-19 and Brexit up to the end of March 2021.

The funding is detailed in a letter from Finance Secretary Kate Forbes to the Scottish Parliament’s Finance and Constitution Committee.

Ms Forbes said:

“From the outset, I have ensured that the money we receive is distributed as quickly as possible to where it is needed most. Our decisions have provided vital additional resources to our NHS, schools and other public services, they have kept our transport system running and provided much needed financial support for businesses impacted by the pandemic.

“To provide full transparency, I detailed earlier allocations in the summer and autumn budget revisions. This latest round will deliver measures such as the COVID-19 vaccination programme, local business support packages and free school meals over the holidays.

“The UK Treasury has indicated that this funding covers the period up to March 2021, so I have allocated £330 million as a contingency to ensure we are in a position to provide further support to health and businesses, including for issues arising from Brexit, as it is required over the coming months.

“Our limited borrowing powers mean we do not have flexibility to increase spending to meet demand and therefore must manage our expenditure – much of which is demand led so cannot be accurately calculated in advance – within the consequentials provided.”

The latest allocations include:

  • around £600 million for health and social care, wider public health initiatives and welfare support. This includes the COVID-19 vaccination programme, test and trace and the £500 bonus for health and social care workers.
  • support for business and the wider economy totalling £570 million, including funding for the strategic framework, local business support packages, the newly self-employed hardship fund and local authority discretionary business funding
  • an estimated £139 million of previously announced funding for government, bringing the overall support package to councils to more than £1 billion
  • around £500 million to support transport services and cover pandemic-related income shortfalls within organisations such as Police Scotland, the Scottish Funding Council and the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service

Background

The latest COVID-19 consequentials bring the total received by the Scottish Government to £8.2 billion.

A further update on COVID-19 spending will be provided through the Spring Budget Revision in the New Year.

A copy of Ms Forbes’ letter to the Finance and Constitution Committee Convener Bruce Crawford is below.

Dear Bruce,

I am writing to update the Finance and Constitution Committee on usage and allocations to date of consequential funding received during 2020-21 as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

We have drawn down and allocated this funding over the course of the year in response to what has been an exceptional and dynamic set of circumstances. I have updated Parliament on several occasions and, although a further update will be provided through the Spring Budget Revision in the New Year, I thought it would be helpful to provide further information in advance of that.

Around £6 billion of consequentials were allocated in the unprecedented Summer Budget Revision and as part of the Autumn Budget Revisions. Since then, consequentials provided have been increased to £8.2 billion.

I can confirm that thus far, further allocations have been provided as follows:

  • Around £600 million has been provided to health and social care, wider public health initiatives and welfare support. This funding supports the public health response to Covid including: vaccinations and test and trace; the £500 non-consolidated payment for health and social care staff; and the Winter Plan for Social Protection, which helps people pay for food, heating, warm clothing and shelter as well as free school meals over the school holidays and the self-isolation support grant.
  • Support for business and the wider economy of £570 million, including grants via the Strategic Framework, funding for local support packages, the newly self-employed hardship fund, digital support, Local Authority Discretionary Business Funding and remaining allocations from the £97 million support for culture and heritage.
  • Previously announced support for Local Government, relating to the estimated £90 million Lost Income Scheme as well as £49 million of additional funding confirmed to councils in September. Added to additional funding already committed, this brings the value of the overall support package to councils to more than £1 billion.
  • Around £500 million of funding to support continued provision of transport and funding for income shortfalls within our partner bodies including Police Scotland, the Scottish Funding Council, Registers of Scotland and the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service in order to ensure that they can continue to deliver vital services, as well as mitigating shortfalls in devolved tax as a direct result of Covid-19.
  • Due to the nature of the Covid-19 outbreak, the potential asks for further demand led spend with regards strategic framework support for business in Scotland and additional demands on health, and the requirement that the funding provided to date will cover all costs until the end of March 2021, I have allocated £330 million of funding in order to support these asks. This is consistent with the terms of the funding guarantee provided by HM Treasury to the devolved administrations, which specified the funding was to cover the period until March 2021. This contingency is also required in order to support any additional funding requirements as a result of the end of the EU transition period.
  • The Scottish Government’s limited borrowing powers means we do not have flexibility to increase spending and therefore must manage demand-led expenditure risks within the consequentials provided.

The figures above remain a snapshot of a dynamic funding position. I will formally advise of final allocations as part of Spring Budget Revision, the last formal opportunity in the financial year to transfer budgets.

KATE FORBES

Categories
Business

Scottish National Investment Bank Officially Opened

First Minister launches Scottish National Investment Bank.

The Scottish National Investment Bank has officially opened for business with the completion of its first major investment.

It is the UK’s first mission-led development bank and it is being capitalised by the Scottish Government with £2 billion over ten years.

The bank’s proposed missions will focus on supporting Scotland’s transition to net zero, extending equality of opportunity through improving places, and harnessing innovation to enable Scotland to flourish.

It will provide patient capital – a form of long term investment – for businesses and projects in Scotland, and catalyse further private sector investment.

Today’s £12.5 million investment in Glasgow-based laser and quantum technology company M Squared will support the company’s further growth in Scotland and speaks to the bank’s proposed core missions.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“The Scottish National Investment Bank will help to tackle some of the biggest challenges we face now and in the years to come, delivering economic, social and environmental returns.

“It is hitting the ground running with its first major investment in M Squared – a great example of the ambitious and innovative companies we have here in Scotland that will be key to our economic recovery and future prosperity.

“The launch of the bank is one of the most significant developments in the lifetime of this parliament, with the potential for it to transform, grow and decarbonise Scotland’s economy.”

Scottish National Investment Bank Chair Willie Watt said:

“Today is a key milestone for the Scottish National Investment Bank. Our launch enables us to make mission-led, strategic, patient investments in businesses and projects that can deliver benefits for the people of Scotland. I am excited about the role the Bank will play in supporting and enabling growth in the Scottish economy.

“We are particularly pleased that our first investment is in M Squared which is at the cutting edge of innovation and is a recognised world-leader in its field. It is our firm belief that the bank will make many more investments that deliver positive mission impacts in the years and decades to come.”

Dr Graeme Malcolm, CEO and founder of M Squared, said:

“Science and advanced technologies have a major role to play in Scotland’s future economic prosperity. By increasing investment in research and development with a mission-based approach, Scotland has a real opportunity to actively tackle climate change and benefit from the coming quantum revolution.

“We are delighted that the Scottish National Investment Bank has invested in M Squared as its very first business – our shared commitments to society and the environment makes this an ideal partnership that will enable accelerated growth and progress in frontier technologies.”

Benny Higgins, Strategic Adviser to the First Minister on the establishment of the bank, said:

“It has been a privilege to be part of an outstanding effort to make this a reality. We could not have predicted that the current pandemic renders the need for mission-led investment even more vital to create a robust, resilient wellbeing economy in Scotland.”

Background

Scottish National Investment Bank

The Scottish National Investment Bank has now been formally established as a public limited company. State Aid approval for the establishment and capitalisation of the bank was received from the European Commission in November 2020.

The proposed missions focus the bank’s activities on addressing key challenges and creating inclusive, long-term economic growth.

The bank’s Chief Executive Eilidh Mactaggart was appointed in April 2020 and its non-executive directors are: Tracey Ashworth-Davies, Carolyn Jameson, Peter Knott, Jason McGibbon, Nicholas Moon, Candida Morley, Dr Jacqueline Redmond and Sir Jonathan Taylor.

The Scottish Government recently  consulted publicly on the proposed missions for the Scottish National Investment Bank. That consultation was welcomed by the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee, and found clear support for the proposed missions. The final missions will be set by Scottish Ministers shortly.

Categories
Business Coronavirus

Discretionary Fund Available to Support Businesses

Businesses can apply for a grant of up to £11millon pounds to help them cover the costs accrued during the current round of restrictions.

Following the re-introduction of COVID-19 restrictions on Fri 9th October, eligible Dundee hospitality, supply chain, and gym businesses may be entitled to financial relief.

As of 9am on Tuesday 20th October, applications to the Scottish Government’s COVID-19 Restrictions Business Hardship Fund, administered by Dundee City Council, can be made for the payment.

Qualifying organisations include hospitality businesses or gym premises who have been required to operate in a restricted capacity due to the regulations. Producer or wholesale supply chain companies who can evidence a reduction of 25% in their turnover since the recent restrictions were brought in should also apply.

City Development Convener, Councillor Mark Flynn said: “The one-off payment to businesses affected by the new measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, can be eligible for up £1,500 depending on their business’s rateable value.

“We know there are 344 companies in Dundee which will have been affected in varying ways by the 16-day restrictions, and I would urge businesses planning on applying to do so with plenty time.

“Like the previous Business Support Grant payments, we will work to get applications processed and the lifeline support to eligible businesses as quickly as we can.”

The COVID-19 Restrictions Business Hardship Fund is open from Tues 20th October until Tuesday 3rd November for affected businesses to apply.

More information on the support, eligibility criteria and how to apply can be found on the Dundee City Council website(link is external).

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Business Coronavirus

Investing in our future workforce

£10 million for apprenticeships.

Scotland’s future workforce will be at the heart of rebuilding the economy following the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop said.

Announcing £10 million for a range of measures to recruit and retain apprentices, including additional funding for the Scottish Government’s Adopt an Apprentice programme, Ms Hyslop said the funding would help modern and graduate apprentices who are facing redundancy as a result of COVID-19 get back into work.

Ms Hyslop said:

“The young people who will make up our future workforce are among those who have been hardest hit by this pandemic. As such, it is crucial that we support them and ensure they are at the heart of our economic recovery from COVID-19.

“This targeted funding will extend the reach of our support for apprentices, including our Adopt an Apprentice programme. Combined with our commitment of at least £50 million for youth employment and the Youth Guarantee, we will ensure no one is left behind.

“Apprenticeships are not only valuable for our young people, they are a key way for all employers to invest in their workforce, and provide the skills the economy needs both now and in the future.

“Our focus is on protecting jobs, creating jobs, ensuring quality jobs and supporting skilled jobs. By taking this action to protect and support skilled jobs now, we will rebuild a stronger, fairer and greener future for Scotland.”

Frank Mitchell, Chair of Skills Development Scotland, said:

“This welcome announcement underlines the importance of apprentices to the Scottish economy and the crucial role they will play in supporting individuals and businesses in the recovery from COVID-19.

“We will continue to liaise with the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board and other employer organisations on the development and delivery of employer incentives and subsidies. SDS is also fully engaged with the work Sandy Begbie is leading on the development of a jobs guarantee for young people in order to maximise the use of all available incentives towards the retention and recruitment of apprentices.”

Further immediate investment to support economic recovery from COVID-19 was set out last week by the Scottish Government, with additional funding for workforce training and digital technology announced.

The Flexible Workforce Development Fund, which helps employers upskill and reskill their existing workforce through college courses, will be increased from £10 million to £20 million. Meanwhile a further £1.5 million will be invested into the Digital Boost programme – almost trebling the capacity of the initiative for the remainder of this financial year.

Background:

Skills Development Scotland are working with employers to identify other measures to recruit and retain apprentices.

Skills Development Scotland manage the Adopt an Apprentice programme on behalf of the Scottish Government.

In April 2020 the Scottish Government extended the Adopt an Apprentice programme to include Graduate Apprenticeships to offer £2,000 to employers who employ a redundant Graduate Apprentice.

Graduate Apprentices who have been made redundant from 1 February 2020 will be eligible for the programme.

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Business Coronavirus

Rebuilding better

Actions for economic recovery from COVID-19.

Targeted measures to build a stronger, fairer and greener economic future for Scotland in the wake of coronavirus (COVID-19) have been announced.

Publishing responses to the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery report and the Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board report, Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop outlined key actions to generate significant economic growth, combined with a focus on supporting jobs, skills and training.

These initial measures include:

Investing at least £50 million to support Youth Employment, including the Scottish Job Guarantee

Embedding Foundation and Graduate Apprenticeship places as part of our wider college and university provision, as well as extending Fair Start Scotland services

Introducing a Transition Training Fund to support individuals facing redundancy and unemployment in those sectors most exposed to a downturn providing opportunities to upskill and transition into employment

Maximising help for those facing redundancy through the Scottish Government’s PACE support programme

Making it easier for SMEs to compete for public sector contracts and supporting them to make greater use of digital technology
exploring options to alleviate planning restraints, build capacity and deal more quickly with complex applications

Inviting leaders from business and other organisations to work with senior civil servants to ensure key Scottish Government policies maximise opportunities for economic benefit

Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:

“We all acknowledge the scale of the challenge facing Scotland’s economy as result of COVID-19, but we also recognise this is an opportunity to do things differently and crucially to rebuild a stronger, fairer and greener economic future. The Scottish Government’s focus will be on protecting jobs, creating jobs, ensuring quality jobs and supporting skilled jobs. We are working quickly to achieve this and many of the actions outlined today are already well underway.

“No one should be left behind and our work to prioritise those hardest hit by this pandemic is clear through our commitment of at least £50 million for youth employment and the Scottish Job Guarantee, as well as our dedicated Transition Training Fund which will provide opportunities to upskill and transition into employment.

“We are also focused on generating significant economic growth through further action to support our small and medium sized businesses, proposals to alleviate planning restraints and our commitment to continue working closely with business leaders to ensure we are doing all we can.

“Ultimately, the best way to secure our recovery from the economic challenges of COVID-19 is to eliminate the virus. That is why it is so important that we continue to invest in Test and Protect, and why all of us must continue to follow the guidelines – particularly around social distancing and hand hygiene.”

Background:

The  response to the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery is based around the following six themes:

Business recovery and growth
Engagement and partnership approach
Employment, skills and training
Supporting people and places
Investment-led growth for wellbeing impact
Monitoring progress and outcomes

The  response to the Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board report gives detail of actions based around the following priority areas:

Assistance to support business retention
Assistance for those facing redundancy
Training to enable unemployed people to transition into employment
Helping vulnerable people into employment

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Business Coronavirus

Further route map detail announced

Indicative dates for Phase 2 and early Phase 3 measures announced to help planning.

Provisional dates for the relaxation of travel restrictions, restarting of the hospitality industry and reopening of hairdressers are among further route map measures announced today (Wednesday 24, June) by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Setting out indicative dates, the First Minister stressed that while sustained progress has been made to suppress coronavirus (COVID-19), the changes remain contingent on scientific and public health advice.

Physical distancing of 2 metres continues to be required in Scotland. The First Minister confirmed that the Scientific Advisory Group is providing advice on higher transmission risk settings and physical distancing and that she will provide a further update on 2 July, ahead of the proposed dates for re-opening hospitality.

Detailed sectoral guidance will be published ahead of indicative dates and the Scottish Government will join with the retail sector in a campaign to encourage the use of face coverings in all shops.

Indicative early Phase 3 dates announced today are intended to give businesses time to prepare for reopening while adhering to public health and physical distancing measures to protect workers and customers. Final decisions on moving into Phase 3 will be taken in line with the statutory three-weekly review cycle, due on 9 July.

Indicative Phase 2 dates:

• 3 July – Travel distance limit for leisure will be lifted
• 3 July – Self-catering holiday accommodation will be permitted, providing it requires no shared facilities between households
• 6 July – Outdoor hospitality can commence subject to the Scientific Advisory Group review

Indicative Phase 3 dates:

• 10 July – People can meet in extended groups outdoors, with physical distancing
• 10 July – Households can meet indoors with up to a maximum of two households, with physical distancing
• 13 July – Organised outdoor contact sport can resume for children and young people, subject to guidance
• 13 July – All dental practices begin to see registered patients for non-aerosol routine care, and work will begin to return aerosol generating procedures to practice safely
• 13 July – Increasing capacity within community optometry practices for emergency and essential eye care
• 13 July – Non-essential shops inside shopping centres can reopen, subject to the Scientific Advisory Group review
• 15 July – All childcare providers can open subject to individual provider arrangements
• 15 July – All holiday accommodation will be permitted
• 15 July – Indoor hospitality can reopen, subject to the Scientific Advisory Group review
• 15 July – Hairdressers and barbers can reopen with enhanced hygiene measures
• 15 July – Museums, galleries, cinemas, monuments, libraries will reopen with physical distancing and other measures, such as ticketing in advance

Announcing the route map changes, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“The sacrifices that have been made – and I know how hard and at times painful they have been – have suppressed the virus. They have also protected the NHS, and have undoubtedly saved a significant number of lives.

“They have also brought us to the position where we can now look ahead with a bit more clarity to our path out of lockdown, and I hope details announced today will provide people and businesses with more certainty in their forward planning.

“But let me be clear that each step on this path depends on us continuing to beat the virus back. That is why we must do everything in our power to avoid steps being reversed.

“The central point in all of this is the virus has not – and it will not – go away of its own accord. It will pose a real and significant threat to us for some time to come.

“Maintaining our progress also means all of us abiding by public health guidance. Wearing face coverings in enclosed spaces, avoiding crowded places, washing our hands and cleaning surfaces regularly, maintaining physical distancing, agreeing to immediately self-isolate and get a test if we have symptoms – all of these basic protections matter now more than ever as we all get out and about a bit more.”

Previously announced Phase 2 measures commencing Monday:

• Indoor (non-office) workplaces resume once relevant guidance is implemented. This includes: factories, warehouses, labs and research facilities. But excludes: indoor workplaces due to open in Phase 3 (e.g. nonessential offices and call-centres)
• Street-access retail can re-open once guidance is implemented. Interiors of shopping centres/malls remain closed for non-essential shops until Phase 3
• Outdoor markets can re-open once guidance is implemented
• Relaxation on restrictions on housing moves
• Outdoor sports courts can re-open
• Playgrounds can re-open
• Registration offices open for high priority tasks
• Marriages and civil partnerships allowed with minimal attendees, strictly outdoors only
• Zoos and garden attractions can open for local access only (broadly within 5 miles) until 3 July
Updated route map can be found here

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Business Coronavirus

More support for small businesses

Grants extended to help more companies in need.

Small businesses which share properties but do not pay business rates are now eligible to apply for grants to help with the impact of COVID-19.

The extension to the Small Business Grant Fund will apply to firms occupying shared office spaces, business incubators or shared industrial units and who lease the space from a registered, rate-paying landlord. Separately, eligibility has also been extended to companies occupying multiple premises with a cumulative value of more than £51,000.

Eligible businesses will be able to apply to their local authority for grants of up to £10,000.

It has also been confirmed that the Small Business Grant and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant schemes will close for new applications on 10 July. Latest figures up to 2 June show that £824.541 million has been distributed to 72,622 businesses across Scotland through the schemes, but that new applications have slowed in recent weeks.

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said:

“Our comprehensive package of business support is now worth more than £2.3 billion. Our programme is kept under constant review, and we are always looking for ways to extend eligibility to help more businesses. That is precisely what we are doing.

“New applications for the Small Business and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant schemes have slowed in recent weeks as large numbers of businesses have already applied. We are committed to ensuring every penny we receive from the UK Government for business support – and more – will be passed to businesses. It is essential that we do not allow funds to sit for too long in schemes that are attracting few applications, so we have decided to bring these to a close next month. That will mean that any remaining money can be re-routed to help businesses in other ways, as we have already started to do for the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund.

“I would encourage the owners of any eligible small business which needs support to consider applying through their local authority during the next five weeks and before 10 July.”

Background

Further details on these grant schemes.

Applications for a Small Business Support Grant may now be made to the appropriate local authority from tenants that are a registered business or partnership, have a lease signed before 17 March 2020, employ at least one person and have a business bank account.

From 5 May, the Small Business and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants were extended to businesses with multiple properties. This included businesses with a number of properties whose cumulative rateable value exceeded £35,000 (making them ineligible for the Small Business Bonus Scheme, thereby preventing them from accessing the Small Business Grant) and whose individual rateable value does not exceed £18,000 (thereby preventing them from receiving a Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant). To date, the cumulative rateable value of all such properties held was capped at £51,000, but from 8 June, this is increased to £500,000.

Schedule 3.1 of the Scottish Government’s Summer Budget Revision confirms the budget for the Small Business and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants as £1.202 billion. 

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Business Coronavirus

Extra £100 million Business Support

Scottish Enterprise have helpfully been in touch this afternoon to provide more information about eligibility for the additional £100 million financial support for businesses from The Scottish Government now open for applications at https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/

Please see below and in the attached slides for info. ⬇️

Dear Joe,

Further to Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop’s announcement that the Scottish Government’s additional £100m fund for businesses impacted by COVID-19 will open for applications later today, we wanted to provide you with further information about this support.

Companies will be able apply via our partner website https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/. This grant funding has been divided into three distinct funds:

➡️ The Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund – a £45m fund for viable but vulnerable SME firms who are vital to Scotland’s economy

➡️ The Creative, Tourism & Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund – a £20m fund for small creative, tourism and hospitality companies not in receipt of COVID-19 business rates relief

➡️ The Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund – a £35m fund for newly self-employed facing hardship through £2,000 grants

In a collaborative approach, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and South of Scotland Enterprise will deliver both the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund and the Creative, Tourism & Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund, with support from Creative Scotland and VisitScotland.

The Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund will be delivered by local authorities. Links to individual local authority applications are available via the https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/ website. Full information about the eligibility criteria for this fund has been attached.

We are acutely aware of how tough a time this is for businesses in Scotland, so demand for this additional funding is likely to be exceptionally high. A guiding principle for us throughout this crisis has been to provide support to those who need it most. Delivering this extra assistance will be no different and will be of vital importance in order to support the economy.

For the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund, support will be targeted at businesses that can demonstrate the following:

➡️ Drive economic prosperity – for example through wages, employment, exports, supply chain, etc.
➡️ Are a supplier or potential supplier to NHS or other COVID-19 vital services
➡️ Are suppliers to other essential businesses
➡️ Can scale up or diversify due to COVID-19 opportunities
➡️ Continue to trade or can quickly come out of hibernation
➡️ Play an important role within their local community

For the Creative, Tourism & Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund, support will be targeted at businesses in this sector that can demonstrate financial hardship due to COVID-19.

For each fund, companies must meet the following eligibility criteria:

The Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund:

➡️ Companies with up to 249 employees that have been trading successfully prior to COVID-19
➡️ Less than €50m turnover or balance sheet total of €43m
➡️ Can demonstrate the funding will support the business to be viable
➡️ Not in financial difficulty before 31 December 2019
➡️ Must have business bank account

The Creative, Tourism & Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund:

➡️ Companies up to 49 employees
➡️ Experienced at least a 50% loss of current or projected revenue
➡️ Not in financial difficulty pre 31th December 2019
➡️ Are not in receipt of other COVID-19 government support, except Coronavirus Job Retention ‘Furlough’ Scheme
➡️ Not for pre-revenue companies
➡️ Must have a business bank account

We have all worked together at pace to ensure the appropriate infrastructure and capacity is in place to deliver this support. Resources have been reallocated to ensure this fund is administered at maximum efficiency. We have pulled together key individuals across our respective organisations, such as Account Managers and Specialists, to support the appraisal of applications.

Getting the money to recipients is of critical importance. We anticipate the application process will take no more than ten working days and successful applicants will receive funds paid 100% upfront within that timeframe.

Full details on what information companies will need to provide as part of the application process can be viewed at https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/.

We expect that you have received a substantial number of enquiries from businesses in your constituency/ region about what support is available to them. Please do share this information with any companies you think would benefit from this assistance and meet the criteria we have outlined. We will also share this information via our various social media channels on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Only a collaborative approach will allow us to support companies and reset, restart and recover the Scotland’s economy. Thank you in advance for your support at this most challenging of times.

Kind regards,

Steve Dunlop, Chief Executive, Scottish Enterprise

Carroll Buxton, Interim Chief Executive, Highlands & Islands Enterprise

Nick Halfhide, Interim Chief Executive, South of Scotland Enterprise

Iain Munro, Chief Executive, Creative Scotland

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive, VisitScotland