Renfrewshire Council

Last reviewed: 16:00, 9 August 2020

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.

On this page:

Advice and guidance

Business advice

Job seeker support

Support for businesses

Support for Self-Employed

Sector-specific support

Advice and guidance

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.


Contact an advisor:

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

The latest business advice and support from the Scottish Government is available at

The latest business advice and support from the UK Government is available at

Job seekers

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.

Support for businesses


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.

The online application process will be available by mid-August, we thank you for your patience as we finalise the details.

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. Eligible businesses will have been adversely affected by Coronavirus and not be in receipt of any other Coronavirus loan fund. The loans are provided through partnership with the Renfrewshire Wide Credit Union.

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

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, PPE and signage and 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.

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. Wearing a face covering in shops is mandatory.

Businesses that can reopen include:

  • Indoor and outdoor retail, including non-essential shops
  • Outdoor markets
  • Indoor (non-office) workplaces including factories, warehouses, laboratories and research facilities
  • All holiday accommodation
  • Indoor and outdoor hospitality
  • Hairdressers and barbers
  • Museums, galleries, cinemas, monuments, libraries
  • All childcare providers can open subject to individual arrangements
  • Dental practices and capacity increased within optometry practices
  • Personal retail - beauticians and nail salons can reopen
  • Theory tests can return but driving lessons and tests cannot

Further indicative dates have also been confirmed, subject to review:

Monday 24 August

  • Live outdoor events with restricted numbers
  • Bingo halls, snooker and pool halls and indoor bowling
  • Funfairs
  • Amusement arcades and casinos
  • Driving lessons

Monday 14 September

  • Indoor gyms, swimming pools and sports courts
  • Soft play
  • Indoor live events with restricted numbers
  • Theatres, live music concert halls and other indoor entertainment venues. This does not include nightclubs.
  • Limited re-opening of stadiums

Non-essential offices and call centres should remain closed at this time.

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

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. From 1 August 2020, the level of grant is being reduced each month and the scheme 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?

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


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 the end of September 2020.

Full details: Future Fund

Support for Self-Employed

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 and then delete it. The online claims service is now available.

The scheme is now closed to new claims for the first grant.

If you were eligible for the first grant and can confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020 you will be able to make a claim for a second and final grant from 17 August 2020.

Check if you are eligible: Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Online Checker tool

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


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.

Childcare providers

All private and third sector early learning childcare providers in Renfrewshire who provide funded ELC in their settings continue to receive payments from Renfrewshire Council for these funded hours. Private and third sector providers can also access support from: Scottish Government Business Support Grant; Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme; Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Rebate Scheme.

Creative, Tourism, 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

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

Eat Out to Help Out Scheme

The HMRC Eat Out to Help Out scheme is for restaurants and businesses selling food for on-site consumption to help protect hospitality jobs and encourage people to safely return to dining out. Diners will receive a 50% discount, up to the value of £10 per person, Mondays to Wednesdays during August which can businesses can then claim back from HMRC.

Full details: Eat Out to Help Out Scheme

Find out which Renfrewshire restaurants and businesses have registered for the scheme.

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 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

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

For support, information and queries on planning, email 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.

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 sector organisations are able to apply for emergency grants of £3,000 to £50,000 and emergency grants of £50,000 to £250,000.

Full details: Heritage Emergency 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.

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

Third sector and charities

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 can 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.

Full details: Third Sector Resilience Fund

Young entrepreneurs

Enterprise Relief Fund

Young entrepreneurs may be eligible for grant support through the Enterprise Relief Fund, provided by The Prince's Trust. The fund has three grants: Business Diversification grant, Business Crisis Sustainability Grant and Working Capital Grant. These grants are for people aged 18-30 self-employed or running their own business set up in the last four years and who have no other source of income during Coronavirus. The initiative also offers one-to-one support and guidance. This fund closes at midnight on Friday 31 July 2020.

Full details: Enterprise Relief Fund

Water providers

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

Full details: Scottish Water