Support for Businesses

A number of measures to support businesses during 2020/21 have been announced by the Scottish Government.  Some of these measures are related to non-domestic rates. 

Details can be found on the Scottish Government website (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) and are summarised below:

  • 1-year rates holiday (100% relief) for all retail, hospitality and leisure properties, from April.
  • 1.6% NDR relief for all properties across Scotland, from April.
  • A new Local Government Finance Order to approve the NDR estimate reduction of £1bn and an increase in General Revenue Grant of £1bn.

The Comhairle are working towards being able to implement these measures as quickly as possible.

Non-domestic rates bills would normally be issued in the middle of March with the first payment due either at the end of May for those paying in 10 instalments or by September for those paying the year in one lump sum. Due to the timing of the changes there will be a delay issuing the bills so that the Comhairle can ensure that the bills are correct and have the correct reliefs in line with recent announcements.

More information will be provided when available.  If you have any urgent questions specifically related to your business rates then please email these to rates@cne-siar.gov.uk

Grants to Businesses

  • £10k grant for all businesses qualifying for Small Business Bonus Scheme, eligible for rural relief or nurseries relief, from April.
  • £25k grant for businesses in hospitality sector for Rateable Values between £18,000 and £51,000 from April.
  • Total cost: £1.2bn with 120,000 businesses eligible.
  • Councils will administer the grants and they will not be application based.

The full details of how to apply for this support have not been released yet and we will keep you informed as soon as we have the information. 

Updated details will be published on the Covid-19 information page on the FindBusinessSupport.gov.scot website (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).

You can also find further information and watch a short Business Contingency Planning Webinar (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) on the practical steps you can take just now to help you plan for any disruption.   As part of these steps we would also encourage you to check your business insurance, consider how the disruption will affect your staff and working patterns, and the messages you are giving to your customers and suppliers.

For local information please refer to the CnES Website.

More information can be found on these websites:

The Scottish Government Coronavirus in Scotland (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)

COVID-19: Guidance for Employees, Employers and Businesses (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).

Updates will also be provided on the Outer Hebrides Business Gateway Facebook Page (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) and the Business Gateway website (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).  Please make sure you are following us to get up to date information.

Business Gateway and HIE have postponed ALL face to face contact for this interim period but they are working and available via email and telephone as normal.  If you have any queries on existing approvals of grants and loans please contact your local contact to discuss.  They are seeking to support any businesses who are concerned about their ability to deliver on existing loan agreements and grant conditions. 

Please contact:

Business Gateway: 01851 822775 or businessgateway@cne-siar.gov.uk

HIE: 07717 150379 or bill.mcmillan@hient.co.uk