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Covid-19/Coronavirus information for businesses

August 6, 2021

We recognise that the current Covid-19/Coronavirus situation presents significant challenges for tourism businesses in the National Park.

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

Tourism Sector Advice and Information

Scottish Government updated its Hospitality and Tourism Guidance on 6th August 2021.

As the tourism sector reopens in the National Park we are supporting both businesses in the Park and the communities who live around them, so that everyone has confidence to use and enjoy the National Park safely and responsibly. Read more on our Respect Your Park web page.

Business Support

  1. Job Retention Fund (JRF): Extension until September 2021.
  2. Business Rates Relief. See further guidance from Scottish Government online.
  3. Further information on VAT and income tax deferral can be found on the UK Government website.
  4. Kickstart Scheme: The Kickstart Scheme has been created to provide new 6-month paid work placements (fully funded) for young people (16-24 year olds) who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. Part of the Kick Start delivery involves ongoing employability support and we will work with businesses to identify the right approach for both the individual young person and host busines.

Business News

Year of Coasts and Waters

The VisitScotland led themed Year of Coasts and Waters has been extended into 2021. They have published a business toolkit with further information on how you can get involved and make use of the new logo, social media handles, etc for promotional use. There are also some good case studies of how other businesses have linked with the themed year.

Test and Protect

Test and Protect contact tracing service for use in hospitality venues

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.

Scenario planning

VisitScotland have created a useful Scenario Planning Toolkit to help businesses to plan ahead with the various challenges likely to be faced in 2021. This is aimed at helping to develop flexible strategies to support the important route to recovery.

Brexit advice 

A new business support webpage has been set up by Scottish Enterprise to support businesses operations following the UK’s departure from the EU. The page covers a number of key topics including: Northern Ireland Protocol, VAT, rules of origin, sector-specific information, as well as import/export advice.

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.

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.

The Forth Valley Tourism Recovery Programme provides cross agency business support to help address the challenges being faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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, Stirling 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.
  • World Host training updated with Covid-19 customer service training for front of house staff.
  • The Scotland Loves Local campaign is a national initiative designed to encourage all those who live in Scotland to think first and support their high streets safely and in line with public health guidelines.

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

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