Here at Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce we are closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation as it continues to develop and we aim to support local businesses at this uncertain time. We have been working with Scottish Chambers of Commerceand taking advice from the UK and Scottish Government and other key partners to inform our members on what’s happening as best we can.
Businesses and citizens should follow all current guidance to minimise the spread of the virus and this page will be updated regularly as and when new information is made available to ensure our members have access to the latest advice and can plan effectively.
A business helpline has now been launched by the Scottish Government – 0300 303 0660 – callers should select option one to speak to the COVID-19 team.
This helpline provides businesses across Scotland with advice and guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19) and is open Monday to Friday, between 8.30am to 5.30pm. For more on this helpline and other Government advice, see their advice pages here.
It was announced by the UK/Scottish Government that as of 16 March anyone developing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, however mild, should stay at home for 7 days from the onset of symptoms as per existing advice. In addition, it is now recommended that anyone living in the same household as a symptomatic person should self-isolate for 14 days.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are recent onset of:
new continuous cough and/or
The latest information and advice for professionals and organisations on how to protect their employees is on the Health Protection Scotland website here. Information for the public on COVID-19, including stay at home advice for people who are self-isolating, can be found on NHS Inform.
Banks and finance providers have the capacity and commitment to support SMEs and the industry is encouraging businesses across the UK to speak to their finance provider early to discuss any potential funding requirements.
Think about how your customers, suppliers and staff could be affected by Covid-19, so you are prepared for any potential impact.
Ask your bank or finance provider early on if you think you might need additional finance, or changes in your current arrangements. The earlier you engage the easier this will be.
Look into alternative finance options. Most applications are successful, but if your first choice doesn’t work out, there are many different providers and types of finance available.
Know where to go for more information to help your business. Use relevant guidance to consider what plans you should be making and actions you should be taking.
A number of private lenders are also making funds available to small businesses impacted by COVID-19, including £2 billion fromLloyds Banking Groupand £5 billion from NatWest
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR BUSINESS
£320 million package of support for businesses | New measures to limit the impact of COVID-19 on the business community in Scotland have been announced by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes. Steps will be put in place to support businesses during the 2020-21 financial year.
Scottish Chambers of Commerce Advice | Scottish Chambers of Commerce is calling on Scottish Government, UK Government and world leaders to urgently agree on a comprehensive global action plan to address the escalating COVID-19 outbreak, and restore confidence and stability to the global economy.
Find business support in Scotland | Information on how to prepare and manage your business for the impact of the coronavirus – including business rates and funding, HMRC, employee advice and business continuity. Also includes workplace advice such as hotels and hospitality settings where a guest may need to self-isolate in a hotel or holiday accommodation. Read the guidance.
17th March 2020 - Further Measures of Support for Businesses Announced by UKGOV
UK Government Announcement: Chancellor Rishi Sunak today announced further measures of support for the economy and for businesses. After major lobbying efforts from Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network and business groups, these measures will support many of our members. However, we have been clear that the situation and economic impact must be reviewed daily to ensure the support provided is quick, accessible and relevant.
Further measures of support announced by UKGOV today:
The UK Government will provide £330 billion of guarantees, worth 15% of GDP, for anyone that needs support to access a government loan or credit on attractive terms – government will pay loans if companies cannot repay banks
Support will be delivered through two schemes, one for large business and the other for SMEs
For large businesses, a new lending facility has been agreed with the Bank of England
For small businesses, UK gov will now provide loans up to £5 million, extending the Coronavirus Interruption Scheme – Both loan schemes will be up and running by the start of next week
Treasury will be convening virtual meetings with industry reps shortly to discuss further tailored support solutions across the UK
UK gov providing additional cash grant of 25k for pubs, clubs and theatre for those who don’t have insurance
Extending the business rates holiday to all firms in the most affected sectors, retail, hospitality and leisure, regardless of their rateable value, for 12 months (not applicable to firms in Scotland as business rates is devolved to the Scottish Government).
Those with properties of a rateable value less than 51k, they can get the 25k cash grant too
Increasing other cash grants up to 10k for the smallest firms
Will discuss a support package specifically for airlines and airports “in the coming days”.
Devolved governments will receive an additional £3 billion worth of support
Mortgage lenders will now offer a three-month mortgage holiday
In coming days, Treasury will work with trade unions and business groups to develop new forms of employment support to protect jobs and income
More to come in next few days
If you have any feedback or information regarding this page or the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation please send this to email@example.com.
We are continuing to update this page on a regular basis and provide a daily update (last updated 17 March 2020)