COVID-19 UPDATE

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COVID-19 UPDATE

As the COVID-19 situation develops, we understand the devastating impact this is having on the front line of the hospitality sector. Be assured that the entire VisitAberdeenshire team has our wonderful tourism colleagues in our collective thoughts. We love promoting and helping to develop businesses and will do all we can to help us get through this as we find our way through such uncharted territory. Our Tourism Development team will ensure that all relevant communication on  support and advice is shared with tourism businesses across the region, and we will develop new initiatives to provide support as requirements become clear.

Please continue to contact us by email or phone. Also, please let us know what kind of practical support you need from us – we’re here to help.

As advice becomes available, this page will be updated with the latest information and advice to support tourism businesses. Please find useful links below.

 

Useful sources of advice and help

VisitScotland

VisitScotland’s COVID-19 advice page contains links to a wealth of business advice and resources. Visit their Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice page here >>

It has also provided some best practice advice on what to share on your digital channels >>

Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA)

STA issues a daily update on their activity and any announcements every afternoon. Sign up to receive its updates here >>

STA is receiving numerous requests from journalists looking to speak to tourism businesses about the impact Coronavirus is having.  If any business is happy to speak to the media about their situation and concerns, please complete this form.

Finance and Business Support

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The UK Government has released guidance for employers on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme >>

 

Coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme

This scheme will allow those who are self-employed or a member of a partnership who has lost income due to coronavirus to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed. HMRC will contact people who are eligible for the scheme and invite them to apply online. Read more here >>

 

Scottish Government Support for Business Package

The Scottish Government has announced a package of measures worth £2.2 billion to support businesses in Scotland, including 100% rates relief for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors for the whole of 2020-21. Read more here >>

 

Coronavirus Business Support Fund

Eligible businesses can apply for grants of £10,000 or £25,000 through their local authority to help them deal with the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Read more about the fund and how to apply in the Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council sections below.

On 27 March self-catering accommodation and caravans were added to the list of businesses eligible to apply for the business support fund, provided this is the primary source of income for the ratepayer and the property is let for at least 140 days or more in 2019-20.

 

Business Helpline

A business helpline has been launched by the Scottish Government to provide advice and guidance on COVID-19. The helpline is open Monday – Friday, 8.30am – 5.30pm and the helpline number is 0300 303 0660. Callers should select option one to speak to the COVID-19 team.

 

Scottish Enterprise (SE)

SE has issued information on business continuity and what to do if your business is affected by a collapse in the supply chain.

It has compiled a comprehensive list of funding sources to support businesses facing disruption from COVID-19. Read more here >>

It has also prepared a useful planning tool with practical tips to help businesses consider what actions they may want to consider in order to prepare for, and mitigate against, the challenges and disruption they may face. COVID-19 Tourism Checklist and Action Plan >>

 

Business Gateway

Business Gateway has gathered relevant information and support to help businesses with the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also running several webinars helping businesses manage some of the challenges being faced. Visit the Business Gateway virtual and local business support page here >>

 

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

The CBILS 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. Find out how to apply here >>

Aberdeen City Council

Visit the Invest Aberdeen page to view available support for businesses and communities in response to COVID-19. Visit their page >>

The Coronavirus Business Support Fund is now open for applications and is being administered by local authorities. The deadline for applications is 31 March 2021. Aberdeen City Council Business Support Fund application form >>

The Scottish Government has announced a relaxation of the planning requirement on food businesses offering takeaway or delivery services. All food businesses will be able to trade in this way without formal planning consent. Aberdeenshire Council has published guidance for businesses considering providing food for takeaway by collection or delivery: Latest guidance from Aberdeen City Council >>

Aberdeenshire Council

Aberdeenshire Council has put together the latest coronavirus advice with relevant links for businesses in terms of support, advice and links for more information. Visit their page >>

The Coronavirus Business Support Fund is now open for applications and is being administered by local authorities. The deadline for applications is 31 March 2021. Aberdeenshire Council Business Support Fund application form >>

The Scottish Government has announced a relaxation of the planning requirement on food businesses offering takeaway or delivery services. All food businesses will be able to trade in this way without formal planning consent. Aberdeenshire Council has published guidance for businesses considering providing food for takeaway by collection or delivery: Latest guidance from Aberdeenshire Council >>

Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce (AGCC)

AGCC has set up an online hub to provide practical advice, both from Government and from the Chamber, and to provide activity updates from across the Chamber network on the actions it is taking to support businesses through the ongoing COVID-19 situation. Read more here >>

Webinars and Workshops

Business Gateway: Webinars

Business Gateway is running several webinars on a variety of topics to help businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak. These include managing your business reputation, communication, running a business remotely and working from home among others. View upcoming webinars here >>

It has also recorded a short online tutorial on business contingency planning to help businesses facing disruption due to the Coronavirus outbreak. View it here >>

 

Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Daily Webinars

CBI will be delivering daily webinars with the latest insights on how to access finance during the pandemic. Register here >>

 

Tourism Knowhow: How to make your business stronger and recovery ready

Tourism Knowhow has recorded an online workshop offering some ideas you can put into practice now to help strengthen your business to cope with the Coronavirus pandemic. Click here for more information and to register >>

 

Federation of Small Businesses (FSB): Coronavirus – help and support for your business

FSB has published a free webinar, originally broadcast on 20 March, providing guidance on staff protection, finance and business continuity. Click here to register >>

 

ACAS: Advisory Webinar for Employers

Advisory, Arbitration and Arbitration Service (ACAS) is also holding several free webinars providing practical advice for employers to help manage the impact of COVID-19 on the workplace. Sign up here >>

Support Managing Employees

Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)

FSB has outlined guidance for employers to help businesses manage their staff and their responsibilities to them at this time. Click here to read more >>

 

Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS)

ACAS has published advice on their website for employers and employees. Click here to read more >>

New Job Finding Service for Tourism and Hospitality Workers

A new free-to-use jobs portal to help workers from the tourism and hospitality sectors who have found themselves displaced as a result of COVID-19 has been launched.

Supported by the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) and UK Hospitality, the recruitment portal is designed to help tourism and hospitality staff find at least temporary employment in other sectors such as food retail and supply, health care and delivery that now require high volumes of staff to get through the crisis. For more information click here >>

Advice for Accommodation Providers

The UK Government has issued guidance and advice for those providing hotel and other accommodation in the UK >>

The Scottish Government has issued guidance for campsites, caravan and holiday parks >>

 

COVID-19 Guidance for Non-Healthcare Settings

Health Protection Scotland has published guidance on the coronavirus for non-healthcare settings that includes workplace advice such as for hotels and hospitality settings where a guest may need to self-isolate in a hotel or holiday accommodation. COVID-19 guidance for non-healthcare settings >>

Advice for Event Organisers

On 23 March both the UK and Scottish Governments called for an immediate stop to public gatherings of more than two people for a period of three weeks, after which they will review the situation. EventScotland has prepared some advice for event organisers >>

 

What to do if you need to cancel or postpone an event on VisitAberdeenshire’s website

Our What’s On calendar is managed by The List, who has made the decision to temporarily remove all events prior to May 1 from our What’s On calendar. This is a temporary measure, and once the UK has been given the go-ahead to leave our homes and participate in gatherings again, The List will immediately set the feeds live so there will be no need to resubmit your event listing.

If you wish to cancel or postpone an event which had already been submitted, please click here to log in, then type in your event title to locate your event and follow the instructions at the top of the screen to cancel/postpone your event. Alternatively, you can go to www.thelist.co.uk, then search for your event and click the ‘Update this event’ box at the top right of the listing. This will not only cancel/postpone the event on our website, but also on The List and VisitScotland.com.

Advice for Food Businesses

The UK Government has issued guidance for food businesses on what you need to know about coronavirus and food. Read more here >>

Food Standards Scotland has produced a Q&A answering questions regarding social distancing and other safety measures. Read more here >>

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