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Coronavirus Business Support at a Glance

Tue 24 Mar 20

During this difficult time, we have created a page with useful advice for tourism businesses affected by the coronavirus crisis. The information will be regulary updated here: Coronavirus Business Advice

If you have any queries on business support, the first point of contact should be Fife Council's Economic Development team at [email protected] 

On 23 March, the UK and Scottish Governments announced that all non-essential premises must close in the effort to slow the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Hotels, hostels, B&Bs, campsites and boarding houses for commercial use
  • Restaurants, cafes and public houses
  • Caravan parks/sites for commercial uses
  • Museums and galleries

View the full list of affected premises.

Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA)

The STA has remained on the front foot since the Coronavirus crisis started to unfold. The organisation is having conversations with all sizes and types of tourism businesses across Scotland around the clock and continues its dialogue with the Scottish and UK Governments to bring about the introduction of additional measures that will prevent the collapse of our industry in the coming weeks and months. Read more on their activity.

UK Hospitality 

UKHospitality represents the broad hospitality sector across the UK – covering everything from bars, coffee shops, contract catering, hotels, nightclubs, visitor attractions and other leisure venues. UKHospitality and over 200 CEOs from across the UK’s hospitality sector have called on the Government to provide immediate support for businesses. Read more on their site. 

Scottish Government

Support includes rates relief for Scottish businesses, and grants for businesses in some sectors that are likely to be most affected. Link to Business Support

Applications are now open for the Scottish Government Business Support Fund and will be open until Tues 31st March. Small businesses in receipt of the Small Businesses Bonus Scheme or Rural Relief can apply for a grant of £10,000 and retail, hospitality and leisure business ratepayers with a rateable value between £18,001 - £50,999 can apply for a one-off grant of £25,000. Apply here:

The business helpline number is 0300 303 0660. The helpline will be open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm. Callers should select option one to speak to the COVID-19 team.

  • An £80 million fund to provide grants of at least £3,000 to small businesses in sectors facing the worst economic impact of COVID-19
  • Small firms receiving the small business bonus or rural relief will be eligible for a £10,000 grant.
  • Full 12 months relief for businesses in hospitality, leisure, retail and tourism. Grants will also be available for companies in this sector.
  • A £25,000 grant for buildings in those sectors with a rateable value between £18,000 and £51,000.
  • In addition, where the cumulative rateable value of business properties falls between £18,000 and £35,000, the scheme will offer 25% relief to individual properties with a rateable value £18,000 or under.
  • Effectively freezing the poundage rate next year.
  • Businesses can sign up for email updates from the Scottish Government.


VisitScotland has a dedicated support page for those working in Scotland's tourism industry. For updates, advice and news, visit:

They are conducting research into the impacts of Coronavirus and you can participate in the second wave of research here. The survey is open until 12 noon on the 30th of March 2020: 

To find out more about the work that VisitScotland is undertaking to monitor the impacts of Covid-19 and to view the results of the first survey, please visit: 

Business Gateway Fife

There is support locally through Business Gateway Fife -

Advisers can offer free support with a wide range of business matters including continuity planning, managing cashflow, HR and dealing with suppliers. There may be funding options. Click the link to discuss further with your local Adviser

You can also find further information and watch a short webinar on the practical steps you can take just now to help you plan for any disruption here:

Job Retention Scheme

ALL UK businesses are eligible. More information is available here -

VAT Payments

ALL UK business are eligible.

For VAT, the deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.

This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.

Income Tax

For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021.

If you are self-employed you are eligible. This is an automatic offer with no applications required. NO penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period.


Fife Council has relaxed planning rules to allow pubs and restaurants to operate temporarily as takeaways. More info here.

DIAGEO has introduced a helpline for businesses in the licensed trade to provide advice on how they can access the government assistance announced, including grants and wage support. Developed with business advisory firm Grant Thornton, the helpline is free to call on 0207 728 2556. Businesses can also enquire via [email protected]

Business Tax

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC.

A helpline has been set up - 0800 015 9559. Lines are open from Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm and on Saturday, 8am to 4pm.

More information available here -

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

CBILS Is a scheme that will be delivered by the British Business Bank and has opened for applications. It supports term loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and more. It can provide facilities of up to £5 million for smaller businesses across the UK who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruptions to their cashflow.

More information available here -

HMRC Time to Pay

The HMRC “Time To Pay” scheme offers further support for businesses with outstanding tax liabilities and who may be experiencing cashflow difficulties. Individual arrangements are negotiated on a case-by case basis. Contact the HMRC for more information.

If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, please call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559. If you’re worried about a future payment, please call them nearer the time.


You are able to claim Universal Credit, providing you meet the usual eligibility criteria - 

To support you with the economic impact of the outbreak, and allow you to follow government guidance on self-isolation and social distancing, from 6 April the requirements of the Minimum Income Floor will be temporarily relaxed. This change will apply to all Universal Credit claimants and will last for the duration of the outbreak.

New claimants will not need to attend the Jobcentre to demonstrate gainful self-employment.

NOTE We are expecting a further announcement shortly on additional benefits for self-employed.

Fife Council Business Occupants

Should you require to discuss any business property related concerns, as a result of Coronavirus impacts please contact:[email protected]

The rateable value of your premises can be found here:

ACAS Webinars for Employers

Employers can join a free ACAS webinar ‘Coronavirus – an advisory webinar' for employers’ on 2 or 7 April. The webinar provides practical advice for employers to help manage the impact of coronavirus in the workplace.

Useful Weblinks

UK Government support for businesses -

UK Government advice -

NHS Advice -

Fife Council Advice -

Business Rates -

Council Tax - Complete this On line form to contact the Benefits and Council Tax Team

Statutory Sick Pay information -

Scottish Government Coronavirus action plan -

FCO guidance for British people travelling and living overseas during the outbreak -

Fitfortravel advice for before, during and after you travel -

FSB ino -


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