National Park facilities have begun to reopen from Friday 3rd July but this will be a phased approach please Think, Check and Plan ahead by going to our Advice to Visitors page.

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Covid-19/Coronavirus information for businesses

July 3, 2020

We recognise that the current Covid-19/Coronavirus situation presents significant challenges for tourism businesses in the National Park and that the impact of this is already being felt.

We have created this page to provide useful information and links to support local businesses during this time.

Potential timeline for reopening the Tourism sector

The Scottish Government has set a provisional date of Wednesday 15th July for the reopening of the tourism and hospitality sector, including accommodation providers, pubs and restaurants. During a Ministerial Statement on the subject, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism Fergus Ewing said the date would be conditional on public health advice and successful progression to Phase 3 of the lockdown route-map. The Cabinet Secretary also announced the establishment of a taskforce to oversee the recovery of the tourism industry, which will consider actions being taken by the UK Government and the development of a new domestic visitor campaign. More information on the announcement can be found on the Scottish Government website.

Scottish Government published the Tourism and Hospitality Safer Workplace Guidance on Thursday 18th June.

A guide for caravan sites and holiday parks has also been published.

Business Support

The UK Government has announced an extension to furlough payments through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for workers to the end of October. This fund is live for applications to HMRC.

The Scottish Government announced a 4 phase routemap out of lockdown on Thursday 21st May.

Other grants and funding available include:

  1. £3m grant fund to help non-domestic businesses. Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses can apply for a grant of up to £25,000 as part of this scheme. The grant will help B&Bs (with a business bank account) that have previously been ineligible for other support funds. This will be administered by Local Authorities and applications are expected to open on 15th June.
  2. 100% Government backed loan scheme. Small businesses can apply for quick and easy-to-access loans and will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 with the cash arriving within days. Loans are 100% government backed for lenders, and businesses can apply online through a short and simple form.
  3. £100m Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund. Apply in your Local Authority area. You may only apply to this fund once (see links below to Local Authorities).
  4. Self –Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) is a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month. Supports those whose majority income comes from self-employment and whose profits are less than £50,000. The scheme will be open for an initial three months. If you’re eligible and want to claim the first grant you must make your claim on or before 13 July 2020.
  5. Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). Government backed loans and other financial support up to £5 million provided by the British Business Bank via participating lenders. Interest-free for first 12 months.
  6. Business Rates Relief. See further guidance from Scottish Government online.
  7. Scottish Government Cash Grants. A one-off grant of £10,000 for small businesses who get Small Business Bonus Scheme relief or Rural Relief. Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value between £18,000 to £51,000 will be able to apply for a one-off grant of £25,000.
  8. Further information on VAT and income tax deferral can be found on the UK Government website.

Business News

New food and drink directory 

Scotland Food & Drink have launched a new online directory to help food and drink businesses connect with customers locally. With traditional markets currently inaccessible to producers, many have switched to a direct sell model. Many consumers are also opting for online or telephone ordering so this platform is designed to allow them to search by product, region and business in any area of Scotland. Food & Drink businesses are encouraged to sign up as partners and create a listing to help them connect to consumers in their area. You can also request to be listed in the directory.

The National Park Authority

We are monitoring the situation closely and are liaising with partner and national organisations to ensure up to date advice is relayed to local businesses.

We are also in direct contact with the Scottish Government and key public agencies to influence and support response planning at a national and regional level.

We have close links with the business community and we are actively engaging with businesses to fully understand the scope of the impact on travel and tourism.  The National Park Authority has a role in supporting and developing the local economy and will continue to support the collective voice of the communities of the National Park and to support the tourism sector at this time.

In addition, The National Park Destination Group have co-ordinated a response to the issue and through the active involvement of a range of business operators, have taken steps to seek business support from the Scottish Government. This request is supported by the National Park Authority and we will continue to work closely with this group to represent business interests throughout the challenging months ahead.

Useful Information

The Scottish Government has set up a dedicated helpline, providing businesses across Scotland with advice and guidance on COVID-19. The helpline is open Monday to Friday, between 8.30am to 5.30pm on 0300 303 0660 to answer questions from businesses related to COVID-19. The helpline will also help the Scottish Government identify the current challenges facing businesses. Callers should select option one to speak to the COVID-19 team.

Business support and advice is also available online at:

The Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) are in close contact with the Scottish Government regarding financial support to businesses over the forthcoming months. They are continuing to lobby on behalf of the tourism industry in Scotland and have provided advice on their website.

VisitScotland and EventScotland are key public bodies at a national, strategic level who have also issued updates on the developments within the industry and impact of Government advice on the delivery of events which would attract mass gatherings of more than 500 people. Travel advice links are also provided by VisitScotland who continue to monitor and advise further on international travel and for visitors already within Scotland. VisitScotland has also published a great resource titled ‘Get Tourism Ready‘ which has further sectoral guidance.

Stirling Council in collaboration with STEP, Business Gateway, Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce, The Federation of Small Businesses, Go Forth Stirling, VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise are developing a package of measures designed to safeguard as many of Stirling’s businesses as possible as the Covid-19 crisis continues.

Other government support grants are being administered by Local Authorities throughout the National Park, you can find more information on the Argyll & Bute Council, West Dunbartonshire Council and Perth & Kinross Council websites.

Other useful links

  • Scottish Government Business Grant Support Schemes: Charities and voluntary organisations may also be eligible for other business support such as rates relief; one-off grants; Retail, Hospitality, Leisure Support Grant; Small Business Bonus Scheme Relief, Rural Relief. It is best to check with your local Council to see if you are eligible or to apply.
  • Covid-19 Information HubScottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a membership organisation providing support to third sector groups. Its Information Hub has advice on Your Employees, Funding, Leading Your Organisation & Business Support, Essential & Digital Services, Volunteers, Fundraising, Community Assistance Directory, and Official Resources/Information. It publishes Third Force News to keep you updated on all things ‘third sector’.
  • Covid-19 AdviceScottish Government’s Ready Scotland website coordinates support for local community groups, businesses, shopping, volunteering and helping neighbours.
  • Invest in Stirling – Support for businesses and enterprise (Stirling area)

We will continue to monitor the situation and provide further updates on this page and social media channels.

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