Renfrewshire Council

Last reviewed: 9am, Tuesday 20 October

Business and job seeker support

This page provides information for local businesses, including support for people self-employed and who to contact for business and job seeker advice. We provide the most-up-to-date information we have on different measures and schemes being delivered by the Scottish and UK Governments as well as details of Renfrewshire's Coronavirus Business Support fund.

Temporary measures - restrictions fund

Businesses in Renfrewshire impacted by the restrictions implemented on 9 October 2020 can apply to the Scottish Government Coronavirus Business Restrictions Fund for grant support.

The Scottish Government has published tourism and hospitality guidance to assist businesses and our Trading Standards team can provide advice on these temporary measures by email to ts.es@renfrewshire.gov.uk.

On this page:

Job seeker support

Business support

Sector-specific support


Job seeker support

Job seeker advice

We appreciate this is a difficult time, but there are jobs available for people who want to deliver key services as well as training and development opportunities to prepare for future employment.

Our jobs and employability team Invest in Renfrewshire team can help you with lots of different aspects of getting a job and preparing you for work.

More details: Jobs and careers


Job Start Payment

Young people starting work may be entitled to a Job Start Payment. The one-off £250 payment is provided by Social Security Scotland for people aged 16-24 and care leavers up to age 25 to help with the costs of starting a new job after being unemployed. 

Full details: Job Start Payment


Support for businesses

Business advice

Our in-house Business Gateway advisors are available to provide tailored advice and support to people self-employed, to new start businesses and established companies.

Businesses may also benefit from up to two days of fully funded consultancy support from experts across a range of topics including: finance, digital & social media, IT, Legal, Property and HR.

Email: renfrewshire@bgateway.com

Call: 0141 530 2406

Contact an advisor:

  • Gary Kenyon - 07534 007841
  • Robert Kinniburgh - 07483 914535
  • Colin Orr - 07483 914561
  • James Edmonds - 07483 914556

Our Business Gateway team run a series of webinars covering a range of topics. View the latest events in Renfrewshire.

The latest business advice and support from the Scottish Government is available at FindBusinessSupport.gov.scot

The latest business advice and support from the UK Government is available at www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support


Graphic illustrating the Renfrewshire Coronavirus Business Support Fund Renfrewshire Coronavirus Business Support Fund

Renfrewshire Coronavirus Business Support Fund is a £1.3million Renfrewshire Council package of interest free loans and grants providing immediate help to businesses affected by the pandemic. It has been developed following detailed discussion with 500 local businesses and is designed to make the biggest difference in the short-term to businesses and people self-employed and also includes tailored guidance from the Council's in-house Business Gateway advisors.

How do I apply?

Read the information below on the Business Restart Loan; Business Resilience Grant and the Business Adaptation Grant and click on the relevant apply now link to complete the online application.

The online application sets out full eligibility criteria and details what you will need to provide.

Once you have completed your application, you will receive a confirmation email and following initial checks, one of our Business Gateway advisers will be in touch to discuss your application and all available support.

Graphic illustrating the Renfrewshire Business Restart Loan Business Restart Loan

The Business Restart Loan offers small and start-up businesses and people self-employed with interest free loans between £1,000 to £5,000 repayable up to three years, to assist with short-term cashflow. The loans are provided through partnership with Right Way Credit Union.

Apply now: Business Restart Loan

Graphic illustrating the Renfrewshire Business Resilience Grant Business Resilience Grant

The Business Resilience Grant is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and provides a 50% match-funded grant from £1,000 up to £10,000 to support small and medium sized businesses, including people self-employed, in meeting changed objectives and plans for growth. This includes purchase of new equipment, property expansion or improvements or the costs to exhibit or develop new products and processes. The grant is not able to be used towards employee wages, general purchase of stock or routine maintenance.

To qualify for support, the business must operate from a commercial premise in Renfrewshire.

Apply now: Business Resilience Grant

Graphic illustrating the Renfrewshire Business Adaptation Grant Business Adaptation Grant

The Business Adaptation Grant provides a match-funded grant from £1,000 to £2,500 to help small and medium sized businesses, including people self-employed, to adapt their premises to meet physical distancing requirements. This includes the purchase of screens, signage and protective equipment resulting from Coronavirus, but it is not able to be used towards employee wages, general purchase of stock or routine maintenance.

The grant is open to retrospective applications for businesses who have already purchased the necessary equipment. To qualify for support, the business must operate from a commercial premise in Renfrewshire. For expenditure between £1,000 and £2,000, the business pays the initial £1,000 and the grant will pay the difference; for expenditure between £2000 and £5000, the grant will pay 50% of costs.

Apply now: Business Adaptation Grant


Scottish Government Coronavirus Business Restrictions Fund

The Scottish Government Coronavirus Business Restrictions Fund provides one-off grants to businesses directly impacted by the restrictions implemented on 9 October 2020.

Renfrewshire businesses apply to Renfrewshire Council by completing the relevant online application form below. The application form details the eligibility information and a separate application is required for each qualifying premise, while businesses cannot apply to both funds.

We recognise the need to make the grant awards as quickly as possible and ask for your patience and support. Applicants will receive an email confirming we have received your application and a business adviser will be in touch once the application has been considered. Applications are open until 5pm on Tuesday 3 November.

Business Closure Grant

The Business Closure Grant is open to hospitality and other businesses required by law to close under the new restrictions. Businesses with a Rateable Value (RV) up to and including £51,000 can apply for a £2,000 grant. Businesses with a Rateable Value of £51,001 and above can apply for a £3,000 grant. An upper limit of £15,000 in total applies to any eligible business operating multiple premises.

Apply online - Business Closure Grant

 

Business Hardship Grant

Business who remain open, but are directly impacted by the restrictions, including supply chain companies of closed businesses, can apply for a Business Hardship Grant. Businesses with a Rateable Value (RV) up to and including £51,000 can apply for a £1,000 grant. Businesses with a Rateable Value of £51,001 and above can apply for a £1,500 grant. An upper limit of £10,000 in total applies to any eligible business operating multiple premises.

Apply online - Business Hardship Grant


Business PPE Pack

Graphic illustrating PPE packs for Renfrewshire businesses provided through Renfrewshire Council We have free Business PPE packs to provide to Renfrewshire businesses. The pack contains: hand-sanitising gel; a box of 100 vinyl gloves; a pack of 50 face masks and retailer focused Scottish Government window and door physical distancing posters, as well as a limited number of vinyl floor stickers where required.

When you request a pack, our team will be in touch to confirm your details. The first 400 packs have been delivered, with another delivery planned in October.

These packs are available to Renfrewshire businesses outside the Paisley Business Improvement District by emailing: renfrewshire@bgateway.com.

Paisley First has funded and supplied starter kits to members of the Business Improvement District. Any member who hasn't received a kit can contact ask@paisleyfirst.com for more details.


Kickstart in Renfrewshire

Kickstart is the UK Government scheme providing funding to employers to create new 6-month job placements for 16 to 24-year-olds who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. Funding covers: 100 per cent of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week together with the associated employer National Insurance and Employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions. There is also additional funding to support the young person to develop the skills and experience they need to find work after completing the placement. 

Kickstart is coming to Renfrewshire through a partnership between Renfrewshire Council's employability experts Invest in Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce and Engage Renfrewshire. Pooling our experience, we will bid for placements on behalf of Renfrewshire businesses and charities and help with skills and training support throughout the six-month placement.

If you are able to offer one or more job placements then please complete our Kickstart in Renfrewshire survey and we will be in touch to discuss the details. If you are looking to offer 30 placements or more, you can apply directly to the UK Government.

Kickstart in Renfrewshire survey

More details: Kickstart in Renfrewshire


Spend Local

Spend Local campaign logo Local businesses need your support - now more than ever.

Stay local, spend local and let's all do your bit to help. Around 65p from every pound spent locally, stays local - so by picking up that coffee, stopping off for lunch or buying that gift, you can do your bit to support the local community and its businesses.

Full details: Spend Local


Phased lifting of restrictions

As part of its phased easing of lockdown restrictions, the Scottish Government has approved the reopening of certain businesses, together with supporting guidance. Any business re-opening must ensure it follows the appropriate guidance and implements the required physical distancing measures. Face coverings are mandatory in indoor hospitality venues for staff and customers when not eating and drinking such as entering and exiting a venue and wearing a face covering in shops is also mandatory.

Visit the Scottish Government's Coronavirus (COVID-19) Scotland's route map for more details.

Guidance documents have also been published, with detailed information for different sectors - Scottish Government Coronavirus guidance


Scottish Government Coronavirus Business Support Fund

The Scottish Government Coronavirus Business Support Fund is now closed. If you have any queries relating to an application to Renfrewshire Council for a Small Business Grant or Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant, please email invest@renfrewshire.gov.uk


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

All UK employers with a PAYE scheme have access to the UK Government Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, safeguarding employees from being made redundant. HMRC pay employers a grant worth 80% of an employee's usual wage cost, up to £2500 per month, together with the associated employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions.

The online service to make claims is open and the guidance page provides details of the scheme, which closes on 31 October 2020.

Make a claim through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Guidance and information on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

View the changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Can my employer use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme?


Job Support Scheme

The Job Support Scheme has been introduced by the UK Government to protect viable jobs in businesses facing lower demand over the winter months due to Covid-19, to help keep their employees attached to the workforce. Employees must be on an employer's PAYE payroll on or before 23 September 2020 and for the first three months of the scheme must work at least 33% of their usual hours.

The Government will pay a third of hours not worked up to a cap, with the employer also contributing a third, ensuring employees earn a minimum of 77% of their normal wages. Employers using the Job Support Scheme will also be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus if they meet the eligibility criteria. All employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE schemes can claim the grant. Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The scheme opens on Sunday 1 November 2020 and runs until April 2021. Employers will be able to make a claim online through Gov.uk from December 2020, paid on a monthly basis. Grants will be payable in arrears meaning that a claim can only be submitted in respect of a given pay period, after payment to the employee has been made and that payment has been reported to HMRC via an RTI return.

Full details: Job Support Scheme


Job Support Scheme - temporary support

The Job Support Scheme is being expanded to provide temporary support to businesses whose premises have been legally required to close as a direct result of Coronavirus restrictions set by one or more of the four governments of the UK. The government will support eligible businesses by paying two thirds of each employees' salary (or 67%), up to a maximum of £2,100 a month. The scheme will begin on 1 November and will be available for six months. Employees of firms that have been legally closed in the period before 1 November are eligible for the current Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Full details: Job Support Scheme - temporary support


VAT Deferral

If you're a UK Value Added Tax (VAT) registered business and deferred a VAT payment due between 20 March and 30 June 2020, these are due following the end of the deferral period and will have to be paid as normal, on or before 31 March 2021.

Full details: HM Revenue & Customs VAT deferral


Business Rates

All non-domestic properties in Scotland will receive a 1.6% business rates relief, automatically applied to your bill by Renfrewshire Council. Visit our Business Rates web pages for more information on business rates relief available to businesses.

Full details: Business rates relief including coronavirus business rates relief.


Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Rebate Scheme

Businesses with fewer than 250 employees can reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence resulting from Coronavirus. This covers up to two weeks of Statutory Sick Pay per eligible employee. Employers should maintain staff absence records and payments of Statutory Sick Pay but don't require a GP fit note from an employee. The online service to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay is open.

Full details: Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme


Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme 

Businesses with an annual turnover up to £45million can apply to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) to access loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5million for up to six years. The schemed is delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the UK Government-owned British Business Bank.

Full details: Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme


Bounce Back Loan Scheme

Small and medium sized businesses affected by Coronavirus can borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 through the Bounce Back Loan Scheme. Loan terms will be up to six years and the UK Government will guarantee 100% of the loan, with no fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. If you have already received a loan through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and would like to transfer to the Bounce Back Scheme, you can arrange this with your lender until 4 November 2020.

Full details: Bounce Back Loan Scheme


COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility

Larger firms affected by a short-term funding squeeze can access the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility which sees the Bank of England buy short-term debt.

Full details: COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility


Business Loans Scotland and West of Scotland Loan Fund

Businesses with existing loans from Business Loans Scotland or the West of Scotland Loan Fund will receive a three-month capital and interest holiday, applied directly by Business Loans Scotland. Please be aware, Business Loans Scotland is aware of a fraud using its name, asking for an upfront fee. Business Loans Scotland will never ask for an upfront fee.

Full details: Business Loans Scotland


HMRC Time to Pay Service 

Any business or person self-employed facing financial distress at this time and outstanding tax liabilities can contact HMRC for tailored tax relief support.

Full details: HMRC helpline


Insurance

On 5 March 2020, the UK Government added Coronavirus to its list of notifiable diseases. This ensures businesses with unspecified notifiable disease cover can make a claim, subject to the specific terms and conditions of their insurance policy. However, most commercial insurance policies are unlikely to cover pandemics or unspecified notifiable diseases, such as Coronavirus. Businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their insurance policy and contact the insurance provider for further information.


Future Fund

The UK Government has confirmed the creation of a Coronavirus Future Fund providing government loans between £125,000 to £5million, subject to equal match funding from private investors, to support innovative companies facing financial difficulties resulting from Coronavirus. These loans may be a suitable option for businesses that rely on equity investment and are unable to access the Business Interruption Loan Scheme. This scheme is open for applications until Monday 30 November 2020.

Full details: Future Fund


Sustainable Innovation Fund

Innovate UK is investing up to £10million to fund single and collaborative research and development projects through the Sustainable Innovation Fund, helping all sectors of the UK rebuild after Coronavirus. Projects can be from a single business or a collaboration and must be led by a business and include at least one micro, small or medium sized enterprise (SME). There is no minimum or maximum total project size and each organisation working alone or in a collaboration can claim up to 80 per cent of their eligible costs, up to a maximum of £175,000. This round of funding has now closed.

Full details: Sustainable Innovation Fund


Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme supports people self-employed or a member of a partnership, with a taxable grant of 80% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months and capped at £7,500 altogether. HMRC work out eligibility and how much a person may get. People self-employed or a member of a partnership can claim if they traded in the tax year 2018-2019 and submitted a self-assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020; traded in tax year 2019 to 2020; intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-2021 and have lost trading profits due to Coronavirus.

You can make a claim for Universal Credit while you wait for the grant, but any grant received will be treated as part of your self-employment income and may affect the amount of Universal Credit you get. Any Universal Credit claims for earlier periods will not be affected.

If you receive texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC, offering financial help or a tax refund and asking you to click on a link or to give personal information, it is a scam. Email it to phishing@hmrc@gov.uk and then delete it. The online claims service is now available.

Applications for the second and final grant are now open and must be made on or before 19 October 2020. You can make a claim for the second grant even if you did not make a claim for the first grant.

Full details: Self-employment Income Support Scheme


Income Tax Self-Assessment payments deferral

Income Tax Self-Assessment payments due on 31 July 2020 can be deferred until 31 January 2021. This is an automatic offer, with no applications required and no penalties or interest for late payment will be charged. During the deferral period, it is recommended to set up a budget payment plan to help prepare to pay the deferred amount.

Full details: Self-assessment Income Tax Payments


Sector-specific support

Airports

Scottish airports and businesses providing airport handling services for scheduled passenger flights to Scottish airports will receive 100% business rates relief for the 2020/21 tax year. 

Full details: Business rates relief including coronavirus business rates relief.


Charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises

Community Response, Recovery and Resilience fund

Local charities and grassroots organisations across Scotland can apply to Foundation Scotland for funding support between £1,000 and £5,000 to help them respond to Coronavirus and recover from its impact. 

Full details: Community Response, Recovery and Resilience fund


Third Sector Resilience Fund

Eligible Scottish charities, social enterprises and voluntary organisations could apply to the Third Sector Resilience Fund, delivered by Firstport, Social Investment Scotland and the Corra Foundation. It is providing grants between £5,000 and £100,000 to ensure the continued health and viability of third sector organisations, together with flexible, 0% interest loans and specialist business advice from Just Enterprise. This fund has now closed for applications.

Full details: Third Sector Resilience Fund


Scotland Loves Local Fund

Scotland's Towns Partnership is delivering the Scottish Government's Scotland Loves Local Fund which provides grants from £500 to £5,000 for projects to improve and promote local places and communities. The grants are open to constituted groups with bank accounts, such as community or development trusts, housing associations, Business Improvement Districts, charitable community groups and Cooperatives, Social Enterprises and the Third sector. Applications are open now and close at 5pm on Wednesday 25 November 2020.

Full details: Scotland Loves Local Fund


Childcare providers

We have continued to fund Council-funded private and third sector providers of early learning and childcare throughout lockdown and easing of restrictions. Childcare providers can apply to the Transitional Support Fund and can also access support from the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Rebate Scheme.


Creative and culture

Funding A-Z

Creative Scotland has collated an A-Z of funding and resources available to those in the creative community affected by Coronavirus.

Full details: Creative Scotland

Sustaining Creative Development fund

Creative Scotland has established the Sustaining Creative Development fund to help individuals and organisations explore ways of working that helps them to adapt and respond to the current changing circumstances. Funding available is between £1,000 and £50,000.

Full details: Sustaining Creative Development fund

Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund

A £15million Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund will support organisations providing opportunities for cultural engagement who have been unable to trade resulting from Coronavirus. This includes organisations such as galleries, commercial theatres, comedy clubs and night clubs and those who enable and deliver cultural activity such as production facilities, music and dance companies. Applications to this fund are now closed, with applicants informed by early November 2020.

Full details: Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund

Creative Freelancer Hardship Fund

This £5million fund from Creative Scotland will address the current financial hardship being felt by creative freelancers who normally work in the culture sector, but whose work has been impacted by Covid-19. Fund guidance has now been published and the online application portal is live from Monday 26 October.

Full details: Creative Freelancer Hardship Fund

Sustaining Creative Practice Fund

Creative Scotland are delivering a £5million fund supporting artists to continue developing new creative work which will make a significant contribution to Scotland's recovery from Covid-19. This includes £1.5million for the Culture Collective programme, supporting organisations employing freelance artists to work in and with communities across Scotland. The remaining £3.5million will be added to Creative Scotland's existing open fund which is open for applications from individuals now.

Full details: Sustaining Creative Practice Fund

Youth Arts Fund

The £3million Creative Scotland fund will ensure creative opportunities for children and young people continue to exist across Scotland despite the Covid-19 pandemic. The fund will include targeted and open funding to youth music and wider youth arts organisations, a scheme to devolve grants locally to artists who work with young people and small grants delivered directly to young people to support them fulfil their creative ambitions.

Full details: Youth Arts Fund


Retail, Hospitality and Leisure

Business rates relief

Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will receive 100% business rates relief for the 2020/21 tax year, automatically applied by Renfrewshire Council. Business properties must be occupied to receive this relief, with those businesses temporarily closed due to Coronavirus considered as occupied.

Full details: Business rates relief including coronavirus business rates relief


Outdoor seating for cafés, pubs and restaurants

We understand some cafes, pubs and restaurants will be considering adapting their premise to provide outdoor tables and seating. We want to help you, here's what you need to consider.

You will need a 'pavement permit' which can be requested by emailing our Roads team at ei@renfrewshire.gov.uk or call 0300 300 0380.

If customers will be served alcohol outside, you will need an occasional licence. To download the application form and for more details, visit Occasional Licences. Our Licensing team can also advise by email to licensing.cs@renfrewshire.gov.uk

If you are providing a cover over the seating area, such as a pergola, you may need a building warrant and planning permission. For more details on a building warrant, contact our Building Standards team by email to bc@renfrewshire.gov.uk.

For support, information and queries on planning, email dc@renfrewshire.gov.uk or call 0141 618 7835. The planning team can also advise about Advertisement Consent, should you wish to use screens or umbrellas featuring corporate branding.

Timescales can vary depending on the consent required, but we will aim to respond as quickly as possible. We will be as supportive as we can for a business looking to adapt its premise, but it's best to talk to our officers as unfortunately not all proposals will be acceptable.


Events industry

VisitScotland delivered a £6million Events Industry Support Fund providing financial help for businesses in the events industry, especially supply chain companies, for whom events in Scotland are their primary source of income and who have not received funding from any other Scottish Government Coronavirus scheme. Successful applicants were eligible for a one-off grant of £10,000. Applications closed on Monday 14 September 2020.

Full details: Events Industry Support Fund


Food retailers

Food retailers looking to introduce takeaway and delivery options for their customers should read our advice and guidance page.

Full details: Food retailer guidance


Heritage organisations

Heritage Emergency Fund

Heritage sector organisations were able to apply for emergency grants of £3,000 to £50,000 and emergency grants of £50,000 to £250,000. This fund is now closed to new applications.

Full details: Heritage Emergency fund

Museum Recovery and Resilience Fund 

The Museum Recovery and Resilience Fund is managed by Museums Galleries Scotland and supports Scottish independent museums put at risk by Coronavirus. This fund closes at 5pm on Friday 30 October.

Full details: Museums Galleries Scotland Recovery and Resilience Fund


Covid-19 Museum Development Fund

Local Authority museums, museums managed by ALEOs and University museums can apply to Museums Galleries Scotland for up to £60,000 to deliver projects that will help them build resilience and address some of the challenges brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic. There will be two rounds of funding before the end of March 2021. Round one applications will close at 5pm on Friday 13 November 2020.

Full details: Covid-19 Museum Development Fund


Private Rent Landlords

The Scottish Government has established the Private Rent Sector Landlord COVID-19 Loan Scheme, offering eligible landlords up to 100% of lost rental income for a single property. It supports private-sector landlords not classified as businesses who have five properties or less and have lost rental income due to tenants unable to pay rent because of Coronavirus through a short-term emergency interest free loan. The scheme has closed for the period March to September 2020, and will soon be accepting applications from those experiencing or expecting to experience a loss of rental income for the period August 2020 - March 2021.

Full details: Private Rent Sector Landlord COVID-19 Loan Scheme


Water providers

Detailed guidance of support for licensed water providers is outlined by Scottish Water.

Full details: Scottish Water