COVID-19 Business News Updates

Please note that this article contains attachments at the end. 

I appreciate that many of you are facing challenging circumstances and please bear with me as I endeavour to update at each opportunity - I understand that this may appear repetitive. 

If any of you are employers or employees have specific issues and concerns, please email me with as much detail as possible on your specific situation if you have not done so already at 

I appreciate that Government advice and commitments are still at a very high level and that many business and employees have very precise and specific concerns. The UK and Scottish Governments have been working constructively and are committed to getting as much information and assistance out as rapidly and effectively as it can.

Today we have received the following information:

Many people working on the minimum wage are on the front line in our fight against coronavirus, and it is right we continue with our planned increases to the national living wage and national minimum wage today.

From today, the statutory rate for over-25s – the national living wage – will go up from £8.21 an hour to £8.72, while the national minimum wage will go up from £7.70 to £8.20 for 21- to 24-year-olds, from £6.15 to £6.45 for 18- to 20-year-olds and from £4.35 to £4.55 for under-18s.

We recognise that this will mean extra costs for some businesses, which is why the Chancellor has announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which offers grants to employers who promise to retain their staff, and is increasing the Employment Allowance from £3,000 to £4,000 this month - giving an immediate reprieve to firms who may be affected. 

Last week the Scottish Government, working closely together with the UK Government stepped up measures to stop the spread of the Coronavirus by ordering all non-essential business premises to close for at least three weeks, with some exceptions such as takeaway and delivery services.

To view the latest Scottish Government guidance on the list of businesses considered essential and further guidance on support available for these premises please click here

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme is now open for applications. Please click here for more details on how to apply.  

A hotline has also been set up to support businesses affected. Please call 0300 303 0660 and select option one to speak to the COVID-19 team. 

To view the latest guidance on how to access support in Scotland if you have been affected by COVID-19, please click on the attachment below. 

Please note that this information is accurate as of 31 March 2020 and may be subject to further updates as the situation develops. 



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2020 03 31 How to access support in Scotland for COVID-19.docx 53.69 KB