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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’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 is issuing regular updates on its activity and any announcements. 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 Support

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Employers can claim 80% for furloughed employees’ usual monthly wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month, to support employees who would otherwise be laid off. Employees must have been on the employer’s payroll on 19 March 2020 and the scheme has been extended until October. From the start of August new flexibility will be introduced to allow employees to go back to work. More details will be announced by the end of May. The portal for making claims opened on 20 April. Read more here >>


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. HMRC will contact people who are eligible for the scheme by mid-May and invite them to apply online. Read more here >>


Non-Domestic Rates Relief

The Scottish Government has announced a package of measures 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, including self-catering accommodation and caravans that meet the eligibility requirements, 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. From 5 May, if you have more than one rateable property, you may be able to apply receive a 100% grant for the first property and a 75% grant for each further property. Links to the application form can be found in the relevant local authority sections below. Read more about eligibility here >>


Creative, Tourism and Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund

The Scottish Government has announced a new £20 million fund for small and micro enterprises in the Scottish creative, tourism and hospitality sectors who have experienced at least 50% loss of current or projected revenue as a result of COVID-19 and who are not eligible for other COVID-19 support from the UK Government (except the furlough scheme) or are not yet in receipt of the funds they need to survive. Read more and apply here >>


Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund

This fund will be allocated to the newly self-employed who are ineligible for UK support (as they became self-employed on or after 6 April 2019) but are facing hardship due to COVID-19. Successful applicants will receive a one-off payment of £2,000. Applications for this fund can be made through your local authority. Click here for more information >>


Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund

This grant is for businesses that can play a critical role in supporting Scotland’s recovery but need some immediate support. It might be to get back up and running or to maintain or diversify your current operations. Read more and apply here >>


Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

The CBILS 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. All viable small businesses affected by COVID-19 will be eligible, not just those unable to secure regular commercial funding. Read more here >>


Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)

The CLBILS will provide a government guarantee of 80% to enable banks to make loans of up to £25 million to firms with an annual turnover of more than £45 million and up to £50 million for firms with an annual turnover of more than £250 million. Read more here >>


Bounce Back Loan Scheme

The UK Government has announced a new fast-track finance scheme providing loans between £2-50k with a 100% government-backed guarantee for lenders. The loans will be interest free for the first 12 months and businesses can apply online from Monday 4 May. Read more here >>


Funding for Third Sector Organisations

Various funds have been announced recently to help organisation deal with the impact of coronavirus on services, including the Heritage Emergency Fund and Creative Scotland funding. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) has gathered guidance, advice and funding information on their Coronavirus Third Sector Information Hub >>


Support for Coastal Businesses

Coastal businesses and third sector organisations affected by COVID-19 can now benefit from a £7.2 million Scottish Crown Estate fund which is devolved to councils. Read more here >>


Business Support Finder Tool

The UK government has launched a new service to help you find UK-wide coronavirus financial support for your business. It covers most, but not all, business support available to businesses in Scotland. Use the business support finder >>

Business Support

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 has also created a list, which is being updated daily, of all business funding and grants made available to businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak, detailing who is eligible and how it can be accessed. Download the list here >>

Its Business Advisers are happy to take calls from businesses to provide advice on a variety of challenges that you may now be experiencing, including examining your short-term cash flow position, HR aspects and identifying appropriate government financial support. 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 >>

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 >>

Aberdeen City Council has issued advice and guidance for current licence holders and new applicants on changes to their Licensing service >>


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 >>

Aberdeenshire Council has issued advice and guidance for current licence holders and new applicants on changes to their Licensing service >>

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

VisitAberdeenshire: What are Scots’ tourism and leisure desires post-lockdown?

This webinar will consider the results of the second wave of the Scottish Tourism Index, a new monthly survey of Scottish views and opinions about holiday taking during this period of COVID-19 lockdown. With guest speakers Jim Eccleston and Duncan Stewart of 56 Degree Insight. The webinar will take place on 16 June 10:45 – 12:00. Click here for more information and to register >>


VisitAberdeenshire: Where next for tourism in North-east Scotland?

Originally broadcast on 14 May, this webinar explores what COVID-19 and its aftermath means for the '3Ms' of 'Motivation to Travel', 'Money to Spend' and 'Means of Travel' in relation to the North-east's current and potential future markets. With guest speaker David Edwards, one of the UK’s foremost tourism analysts. View the recording here >>


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 several online tutorials that you can watch at your leisure, including how to get your business through the current emergency, keeping your business safe online and digital marketing strategy. View online tutorials here >>

Business Gateway is hosting an online business networking session discussing various topics every Wednesday at 2pm. Book on the Business Gateway Online Hangout Hour 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 >>


HMRC: Coronavirus (COVID-19) – support from HMRC

HMRC has produced videos providing an overview of the support available to help businesses, self-employed individuals and employers and their employees deal with the economic impact of COVID-19. The videos are available on HMRC’s YouTube channel >>


Scottish Enterprise: Financial Readiness Talk Webinar

Scottish Enterprise is running two interactive webinars where guest panellists will give a brief overview of funding available, followed by the opportunity to ask questions. The webinars will take place on 22 April and 11 June. Click here for more information and to register >>


Edinburgh Tourism Action Group (ETAG)

ETAG are running a number of webinars which are open for anyone to join. Topics include why you need to keep marketing during the pandemic and auditing your tourism business website. View upcoming webinars here >>


Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland: Learn @home app

HIT Scotland has updated its app with a collection of self-development links and activities that will help you continue to be engaged with the industry and update your skills and knowledge. Read more 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 businesses on social distancing, which includes full details on exceptions for residents allowed to remain. It has also 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 >>


Free ecommerce software launched to help hoteliers during lockdown

Hop Software has developed a free-of-charge online shop to enable hotels across the UK to provide a click, collect and delivery food and drink service to local customers. Find out more about Hop Shop here >>

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 June 22 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, 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


Event industry consultation

EventScotland has set up virtual forums to identify the key initiatives and support needed to help Scotland’s events and festivals sector be in the best place to restart once Scotland and the UK overcome these challenging times. Read more here >>

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 >>

Hotels Open for Key Workers

A list is available of hotels currently open during the lockdown period. Their primary purpose is to support the needs of key businesses and workers. This list will be updated weekly. Click here to download.


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