Support for local businesses

Find out what support is available for local businesses.

We're committed to supporting our local businesses and are working closely with the Scottish Government, our council partners and other organisations to help you find the support you need. We understand that people will be concerned about the effect COVID-19 will have on their businesses and their workforce. We've collated information and support available to businesses on this page and will keep it regularly updated.

We provide a wide range of grant and loan support to develop and strengthen businesses based and trading within East Renfrewshire.

Visit our business development grants web page.


Business Gateway East Renfrewshire

Business Gateway East Renfrewshire is currently providing support remotely. We're offering adviser support by phone or video and webinars in place of workshops.

Visit the Business Gateway website.

Phone: 0141 5302407


Third Sector Resilience Fund

£20 million emergency fund providing grants between £5,000 - £100,000.

Visit the SCVO website for more information.

Support to social enterprises and community organisations

More information can be found on the Scottish Government's web page: Helping communities affected by Covid-19.

You can also visit the Just Enterprise website.

Support Local Businesses campaign

We want to encourage everyone to support local businesses where you can, such as paying your house cleaner, dog walker, or anyone who depends on a regular income. 

There are 3 Business Improvement Districts in East Renfrewshire: Barrhead, Clarkston and Giffnock. Members of these organisations will be working to promote and support local businesses at this time.

Local people's generosity could make a big difference to East Renfrewshire businesses and we want to encourage people to buy locally where possible. 

Hints and tips

  • If you're thinking of stocking up on household staples ― coffee, for example ― pick up those things from local retailers who are closer and open.
  • Check if they've a website and if you're able to order on-line. Many local businesses have geared up to deliver to their local residents. 
  • Where you can, leave good reviews on line - a word of support can also go a long way for worried business owners.
  • For those businesses who have had to close their doors, reach out by social media, e-mail, phone call etc., to tell them that you support them and when all of this is over, you'll be there at their door - it's hard to overstate how much people rely on moral support.
  • While some local restaurants have opted to close their doors to weather the outbreak, a number are still open for takeout and delivery so use them and help them stay in business.

For more information, visit:

Licensing laws for takeaways

A growing number of bars and restaurants across Scotland are offering takeaway and delivery services as operators attempt to keep their businesses afloat amid the coronavirus crisis.

A relaxation of planning rules to allow pubs and restaurants to operate as takeaway establishments and supply food to be consumed outwith the premises was announced by the Scottish Government on March 18 2020. Operators wishing to deliver alcohol must have permission for off-sales of alcohol on the premises licence. For more information, visit the Scottish Licensed Trade Network website.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

All UK wide employers with a PAYE payroll scheme created and started on or before 19 March 2020 can access the scheme.

Furloughed employees must have been on your PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020 and were notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 19 March 2020.

Employees that were employed as of 28 February 2020 and on payroll (i.e. notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 28 February) and were made redundant or stopped working for the employer after that and prior to 19 March 2020, can also qualify for the scheme if the employer re-employs them and puts them on furlough.

The scheme will close to new applicants on June 30, and employers will have until June 10 to furlough employees for the first time. If you've fewer than 100 furloughed staff you'll be asked to enter details of each employee you're claiming for directly into the HMRC online system. If you've 100 or more furloughed staff you'll be asked to upload a file with the information rather than input it directly into the system. HMRC will accept the following file types: .xls .xlsx .csv .ods.

Government contributions will be scaled down over the summer, with NI and 80% of wages covered in June and July.

  • Fom August, NI will be paid by the employer.
  • From September, 70% of wages will be covered with employers paying 10% and NI
  • By October, the government will cover 60% of wages

Visit the Government website's guidance to employers and business about Covid-19.

VAT deferral

Deferral of VAT payments for 3 months will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020. All businesses are eligible and this will be applied automatically.

Customers who normally pay by direct debit should cancel their direct debit through their bank if they are unable to pay.

Income tax payments deferral

If you're self-employed, income tax payments due in July 2020 under the self-assessment system will automatically be deferred to 31 January 2021.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Relief Package

The SSP relief package allows small-and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim SSP paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19.

The UK Government is currently developing a rebate scheme. More details will be provided in due course once the legislation has passed.

Business rates

All business - non-domestic properties in Scotland will get a 1.6% relief. This will be applied automatically from 1 April.

Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will get 100% rates relief. To get this relief, a property has to be occupied.

Properties that have closed temporarily due to the government's COVID-19 advice will be treated as occupied.

More information can be found on the Government web page: Help with non-domestic rates during Coronavirus.

Support for water bills

Scottish Water has agreed to suspend pre-payment charges for licensed providers for two months, beginning with the April payment. Businesses should liaise directly with their water services supplier.

More information can be found on the Scottish Government web page: Support for business water bills.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

This temporary loan scheme will support SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years. 

The Co-operative Bank, Cynergy Bank, OakNorth Bank and Starling Bank were announced as approved lenders during the Easter weekend. Each lender will be putting in place the operations required to start lending under the scheme and will confirm shortly the dates from which they will be ready to start receiving CBILS applications.

The full rules of the scheme and a list of accredited lenders can be found on the British Business Bank website.

Visit the British Business Bank website.

Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility

Purchase of short-term debt (larger firms only). More information is available on the Bank of England website.

Visit the Bank of England website.


HMRC are offering guidance and support on their website for all employers and employees in relation to Covid-19.

Visit the HMRC website.

You can also visit HMRC's web page: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may receive support with their tax affairs. Phone HMRC's dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.

Chat online to HMRC.

Scottish Chambers of Commerce

Scottish Chambers offer businesses support and advice if affected by COVID-19, which includes useful links, telephone numbers and resources that businesses can utilise. 

Visit the Scottish Chambers of Commerce website.

Supplier Development Programme (SDP)

If you're a Scottish SME or third sector organisation interested in working with the public sector, then the SDP can help, with expert training, support and information to help you win work and grow your business. And best of all - it's completely free.

All SDP training is delivered digitally by webinar, and suppliers are encouraged to self-select what may be appropriate for their business needs.

The Supplier Development Programme has issued updated hosting guidance to all 32 Scottish local authority members, as well as other public sector membership organisations, regarding hosting face-to-face training in venues around the country.

Visit the Supplier Development Programme Scotland website.

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) - Redundancy support for people and businesses in Scotland

We want to help minimise the impact for people and businesses facing redundancy. SDS offer free advice and support, as the lead agency in PACE - Partnership Action for Continuing Employment.

Visit SDS website.

Covid-19 business support summary

Icon for pdf Download the Coronavirus business support summary [1.39MB].

Last modified on 9th September 2020

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