Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice

Advice for businesses

Updated 26 October 2020

New restrictions for specific sectors

Additional temporary COVID-19 control measures affecting the hospitality and sport/leisure sectors came into force in South Lanarkshire at 6pm on Friday 9 October and will remain in place until 6am on Monday 2 November 2020.

Coronavirus Restrictions fund

The Scottish Government has announced £40 million in funding for businesses and employees in Scotland affected by the temporary coronavirus brake restrictions that came into effect from 9 October 2020.

The support fund below will be administered by local authorities, providing one-off grants to hospitality and other businesses required to close by the brake restrictions regulations. 

  • The business closure fund will operate as a two-tiered scheme, with a smaller grant of £2875 for businesses with a Rateable Value (RV) of up to and including £51,000 and a larger grant of £4300 for businesses with a RV of £51,001 or above, up to a maximum of £21,000 in total for any eligible business operating multiple premises.
  • The business hardship fund will operate in the same way as a two tiered scheme with payments of £1440 for businesses with a Rateable Value (RV) of up to and including £51,000 and a larger grant of £2155 for businesses with a RV of £51,001 or above, up to a total of £14,000 for eligible business operating multiple premises. This fund will support some companies that can remain open but are directly impacted by the restrictions, including those that supply businesses that must close.

Please note that applications for the Business Closure Fund and the Business Hardship Fund close at 5pm on Tuesday 3 November 2020.  Applications received after this time will not be considered.

Town Centre Small business PPE grant

The Town Centre Small Business PPE grant has now closed.

Hospitality businesses

Licensed premises must close during this period.

Cafes with an alcohol licence will be allowed to remain open and can operate from 6am to 6pm daily but not serve alcohol. This is in line with unlicensed premises that sell food and non-alcoholic drinks.

In the regulations, a café has been defined as an establishment whose primary business activity, in the ordinary course of its business, is the sale of non-alcoholic drinks, snacks or light meals, which may be consumed on the premises. For more information see the Scottish Government's guidance.

Businesses which offered full sit down meals, operated into the evening and sold alcohol only to customers are unlikely to be considered a café.

Scottish Government advice is that businesses should remain closed if you were unsure if your premises would qualify as a cafe, until you can get advice from Environmental Services.

If you are considering changing the terms of your licence you should speak to your usual contact in Licensing.

Sport and Leisure

No group exercise classes for indoor gyms/sports courts, pools etc can be held, with the exemption where this is specifically for under 18s. 

Organised outdoor contact sport for those aged 18 and over is not permitted (excluding those playing professional sport as defined by the relevant governing bodies). 

Coaches can still work with up to 30 people outdoors (in line with current guidance), with physical distancing and ensuring the appropriate sportscotland guidance is followed.

Indoor sport and leisure facilities remain open. All ages are permitted to use gym facilities and swimming pools, provided they abide by physical distancing requirements and following rules on mixing with other households. 

General information for businesses

We know that many businesses are experiencing difficulties at this very challenging time, a number of support measures have been put in place to assist.

Information and advice for businesses from the UK Government, Scottish Government and other agencies is changing rapidly. You will find all the latest information on business support for COVID-19, on the Find Business Support website (please sign up for email updates), the UK Government website and the Scottish Government website.

The UK Government has also introduced a business support finder to see what support is available for you and your business.

North Lanarkshire Council, on behalf of all Scottish councils is regularly updating a handy summary of all support for businesses in Scotland relating to COVID-19.

We have a dedicated email address to contact the Business Support Team and if you need advice and support for your business you should email We are experiencing a very high volume of emails and we will respond as soon as possible. We will post updates on this page and in social media as they become available.

Support is available for businesses locally through Business Gateway Lanarkshire via virtual advisory and workshop services. Advisers can offer free support covering a wide range of business matters including continuity planning, managing cash flow, HR and dealing with suppliers.

You can phone Business Gateway Lanarkshire on 01236 888 628.

For information/clarification on how to ensure your business is safe to operate please see below and/or contact our Environmental Services Team.


If you have any concerns about business property you should email


Call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 015 9559. Lines are open from Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm and on Saturday, 8am to 4pm.

The Scottish Government has published guidance for workers and employers on returning to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus (COVID-19): returning to work safely

This guidance was developed in consultation with business, trades unions and regulators. It will provide advice on essential equipment and services needed to create the conditions for safer workplaces.

Companies are expected to undertake a robust risk management approach that has been developed and maintained through joint working with employees. This will offer assurances to workers when the time is right to return to work.

The HSE have published guidance on how to work safely during COVID.

Working to the phased approach in the Scottish Government’s route map on easing lockdown, it details the steps required for businesses, acknowledging that some will face more complications when reopening than others, while also considering the impact on employees.

It is also acknowledged that the successful return to business will be highly dependent on positive customer behaviours. Therefore, customer guidance has been published and can also be used by retailers to inform their signage.

If you require further information/clarification please contact our Consumer and Trading Standards (Business Advice) Team on 0303 123 1015 or email

On Thursday 18 June, the Scottish Government issued a set of guidelines to help you get ready for the potential relaunch of tourism on 15 July. These come from extensive collaboration with the tourism industry and offer a good strategic overview covering everything from accommodation providers to pubs and restaurants.

The guidance outlines steps needing to be taken by different types of businesses to give reassurance to potential visitors that their safety has been put at the heart of planning. In some sectors that’ll be easier than others and we appreciate this is an extremely stressful time for businesses who want to get this right.

Most tourism businesses could start to plan towards 15 July to resume some operations, depending on the science, with some outdoor operations before then. How you prepare is crucially important. There’s a lot to consider.

The Scottish Government guidance includes a really useful check list (top right of web page) and sector guidance explaining everything from how to undertake a risk assessment, to how to protect employees and look after their wellbeing – something that will be vital as teams start to return to work. It’s by no means the full story and we’ll continue updating it as more becomes available.

It comes into effect immediately – from 18 June 2020 - and extends until further notice. It will be reviewed in line with the regular three-weekly review of lockdown requirements.  

It is designed for use by the whole sector, including:

  • all accommodation providers (hotels, B&Bs, self-catering, caravan/holiday parks etc)
  • visitor attractions
  • marine and adventure tourism
  • other activity or experience tourism operations/centres
  • tour operators
  • pubs and restaurants
  • retail aspects of tourism
  • natural spaces insofar as they relate to tourism, such as the National Parks

Please also view the VisitScotland Get Tourism Ready page.

The main schemes of assistance are:

  • Coronavirus Business Support Fund - Applications accepted up until 5pm Friday 10 July 2020
  • Coronavirus Tenant/Occupier Support Fund - Applications accepted up until 5pm Friday 10 July 2020
  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • Coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme
  • Coronavirus Newly Self-employed Hardship Fund - Applications accepted up until 5pm Friday 10 July 2020
  • Coronavirus Bed and Breakfast and Small Serviced Accommodation Provider Hardship Fund - Applications accepted up until 5pm Friday 10 July 2020

The council offers a range of discretionary grant funding through our Business Support Grants to new and established businesses based in the South Lanarkshire area. These grants are for micro, small and medium sized businesses that will increase turnover, profit and safeguard or increase the number of employees through a project that has not yet started. We encourage applications which will introduce new or improved products, processes or services into the business and help businesses reach new markets at this challenging time.

These are competitive and discretionary funds which means the council reserves the right to determine whether the business receives funding at its sole discretion. We would actively encourage you to explore other sources of funding first as our grant support is funding of last resort and is up to a maximum contribution of 50%. Other funding routes are available at For more information on each grant please see our Financial help page

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will cover 80% of the cost of wages up to £2,500 per month plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions for all furloughed employees. This is to safeguard workers from being made redundant. Please also refer to the Coronavirus Job Retention Bonus.

This is a temporary scheme in place from 1 March to 31 October 2020 and employers can use this scheme anytime during this period. If you are eligible and want to claim your first grant, you must make your claim on or before Monday 13 July 2020.

This Scheme is available to all UK employers with a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 19 March 2020 – this includes businesses, charities, recruitment agencies (agency workers paid through PAYE) and public authorities.

To access the scheme you must have:

  • Created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 19 March 2020
  • enrolled for PAYE online 
  • a UK bank account

The important date for accessing the scheme is the date employees were furloughed. Furloughed workers is a new term which applies to employees who have been asked to stop working, but who are being kept on the payroll. 

Furloughed employees must have been on your PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020 and were notified to HMRC on a Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC on or before 19 March 2020.

To be eligible for the grant, when on furlough, an employee cannot undertake work for, or on behalf, of the organisation or any linked or associated organisation. This includes providing services or generating revenue. Employers are free to consider allocating any critical business tasks to staff that are not furloughed. While on furlough, the employee’s wage will be subject to usual income tax and other deductions.

Employers are being encouraged to consider re-employing anyone in their business that were employed as of 28 February 2020 and on payroll (i.e. notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 28 February) and were made redundant or stopped working for the employer after that and prior to 19 March 2020. If you can pay 80% (or up to 100%) of their wages and your intention is to furlough them, you will be able to recover up to 80% of their wages when the grant funding comes through. This could really make a difference to your employees, especially for those self-isolating or caring for others at this time.

How to access the scheme

If you've already worked out how much you can claim, you can claim for wages online via the HMRC online portal which is available on the UK Government website. HMRC will then check that your claim is correct and pay the claim amount by Bacs into your bank account within 6 working days.

Before you claim

  • You will need to work out how much you can claim through the scheme. HMRC will retain the right to retrospectively audit all aspects of your claim.
  • Employers should discuss with their staff and make any changes to the employment contract by agreement. Employers may need to seek legal advice on the process. If sufficient numbers of staff are involved, it may be necessary to engage collective consultation processes to procure agreement to changes to terms of employment.

You will also need:

  • To be registered for PAYE online
  • Your UK bank account number and sort code
  • Your employer PAYE scheme reference number 
  • The number of employees being furloughed
  • Each employee's National Insurance number
  • Each employee's payroll or employee number (optional)
  • The start date and end date of the claim
  • The full amount you are claiming for including employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum pension contributions
  • Your phone number

You also need to provide either:
•    Your name (or the employer's name if you're an agent)
•    Your Corporation Tax unique taxpayer reference
•    Your Self-Assessment unique taxpayer reference
•    Your company registration number    

Please do not contact HMRC unless it has been more than 10 working days since you made the claim and you have not received it in that time.

After you've claimed you must keep a copy of all records including:
•    the amount claimed and claim period for each employee
•    the claim reference number for your records
•    your calculations in case HMRC need more information about your claim
•    tell your employees that you have made a claim and that they do not need to take any more action
•    Pay your employee their wages, if you have not already

Filling skills gaps

Employers with acute skills gaps are now able to quickly advertise immediate opportunities to a broad audience through the My World of Work Job Hub, in line with Scottish Government advice on workers and essential services. The service has been developed by Skills Development Scotland in partnership with industry bodies, to support employers and individuals through the disruptive impact of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. It enables employers across Scotland to quickly advertise immediate vacancies to a broad audience through the national online careers resource, and provides job seekers with a trusted source of opportunities at this critical time. Employers can find more information and upload job vacancies on the Job Hub

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme is for the self-employed or members of a partnership who have lost income due to coronavirus.

The scheme allowed you to claim a first taxable grant. Applications for the first grant closed on 13 July 2020.

The second and final taxable grant is worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.

Applications for the second and final grant are now open. Make your claim from the date we give you. If you’re eligible and your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, you must make your claim for the second grant on or before 19 October 2020

Who can apply

You can apply if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you:

  • have submitted your Income Tax Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19
  • traded in the tax year 2019-20
  • are trading when you apply, or would be trading except for COVID-19
  • intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21
  • have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19

Your self-employed trading profits must also be less than £50,000 and more than half of your income must come from self-employment. This is determined by at least one of the following conditions being true:

  • having trading profits/partnership trading profits in 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your total taxable income
  • having average trading profits in 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your average taxable income in the same period

If you started trading between 2016-19, HMRC will only use those years for which you filed a Self-Assessment tax return.

If you have not submitted your Income Tax Self-Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19, you need to have done this by 23 April 2020.

HMRC will use data on 2018-19 returns already submitted to identify those eligible and will risk assess any late returns filed before the 23 April 2020 deadline in the usual way.

If you receive this grant you can continue to work or take on other employment including voluntary work.

You can make a claim for Universal Credit while you wait for the grant, but any grant received will be treated as part of your self-employment income and may affect the amount of Universal Credit you get. Any Universal Credit claims for earlier periods will not be affected.

How much you’ll get

You’ll get a taxable grant which will be 80% of the average profits from the tax years (where applicable):

  • 2016 to 2017
  • 2017 to 2018
  • 2018 to 2019

We will work out your average trading profit by adding together your total trading profits or losses for the 3 tax years, then we will divide by 3.

The second and final grant is worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total. The online service will tell you how we’ve worked your grant out.

The first grant, for which applications closed on 13 July 2020, was based on 80% of your trading profits and capped at £7,500 in total.

The grant amount we work out for you will be paid directly into your bank account, in one instalment

Please note the grant will be subject to Income Tax and National Insurance contributions but does not need to be repaid.

How to apply

You can apply for the scheme on the UK Government website

Individuals should NOT contact HMRC now and doing so will only delay the urgent work being undertaken to introduce the scheme. 

If someone texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC, saying that you can claim financial help or are owed a tax refund, and asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, please do not do this - it is a scam.

After you’ve applied

Once HMRC has received your claim and you are eligible for the grant, HMRC will contact you to tell you how much you will get and the payment details.

If you claim tax credits you’ll need to include the grant in your claim as income.

Helps small and medium sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000

Lenders can provide a 6 year term loan from £2,000 up to 25% of a business’ turnover. The maximum loan amount is £50,000

100% government guarantee against the outstanding facility balance, both capital and interest. The borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt.

The UK Government will make a Business Interruption Payment (BIP) to the lender to cover the first 12 months of interest payments

The borrower does not have to make any repayments for the first 12 months

The interest rate for the facility is set at 2.5% per annum, meaning businesses will all benefit from the same rate of interest

The length of the loan is 6 years but early repayments are allowed, without early repayment fees

Lenders are not permitted to take personal guarantees or take recovery action over a borrower’s personal assets (such as their main home or principle private vehicle).

There is no fee to access the scheme for either businesses or lenders.

You can apply for a loan if your business:

  • Is based in the UK
  • Has been negatively affected by Coronavirus
  • You cannot apply if you’re already claiming under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

Businesses from any sector can apply, except: Banks, insurers and reinsurers (but not insurance brokers), Public sector bodies and State-funded primary and secondary schools

How to apply

Applications for Bounce Back Loans are now open.

See a list of accredited lenders.

You should approach a lender yourself, ideally via its website. In the first instance, you should approach your own provider. You may also consider approaching other lenders if you are unable to access the finance you require.

You will need to fill in a short application form online, which self certifies that your business is eligible for a loan under the Bounce Back Loan scheme.

If you’ve already received a loan of up to £50,000 under CBILS and would like to transfer it into the Bounce Back Loan scheme, you can arrange this with your lender until 4 November 2020

All lenders accredited under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) have been invited to become accredited to offer loans under the terms of the Bounce Back Loan Scheme. The British Business Bank is working at pace to accredit those lenders who want to provide lending under the scheme to further extend its reach and provide more choice for smaller businesses.

See the full rules of the scheme.

This temporary Loan Scheme will support SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years. The scheme is expected to run for an initial period of 6 months. There is no limit on the capacity of the scheme.

Who and what is eligible

  • Supports loans of up to £5 million available on repayment terms of up to six years
  • UK Government will provide lenders with a partial guarantee of 80% on each loan
  • No guarantee fee for SMEs to access the scheme – lenders will pay a fee to access the scheme
  • Interest and fees paid by UK Government for 12 months – this means no upfront costs and lower initial repayments for SMEs
  • For overdrafts and invoice finance facilities, term will be up to three years

Your business must:

  • Be UK based in its business activity
  • Have an annual turnover of no more than £45 million
  • Have a borrowing proposal which the lender would consider viable, were it not for the Covid19 pandemic
  • Self-certify that it has been adversely impacted by Covid-19.

Please see further eligibility criteria.

How to apply

You should apply via your lenders website or through one of the 50+ accredited finance providers offering the scheme. The lender has the authority to decide whether to offer you finance. See details of these lenders.

Personal guarantees are not required to secure lending below £250,000. For any borrowing above £250,000 personal guarantees will be capped at 20% of the outstanding value of the loan, as the Government is providing the guarantee for the remaining 80% of the finance. This will apply to all customers that have secured a loan under the scheme since its launch on 23rd March.

Given there is likely to be a big demand for facilities, businesses should consider applying via the lender’s website in the first instance. Telephone lines are likely to be busy and branches may have limited capacity to handle enquiries due to social distancing.

See the full rules of the scheme.

The UK Government will introduce a one-off payment of £1,000 to UK employers for every furloughed employee who remains continuously employed through to the end of January 2021. Employees must earn above the Lower Earnings Limit (£520 per month) on average between the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the end of January 2021. Payments will be made from February 2021. Further detail about the scheme will be announced by the end of July. 

Environmental Services have enforcement powers in relation to the new COVID-19 legislation prohibiting, certain businesses from opening and ensuring social distancing arrangements are in place for businesses that are trading.

If you have any concerns regarding businesses that are open or issues relating to social distancing arrangements please contact Environmental Services on 0303 123 1015 or use our Enquiry form.

If you have any concerns about members of the public not adhering to Government guidance you should report it to the police on 101 or to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Rates relief will be applied automatically and you do not need to do anything to apply for this. They will be as follows:

  • 1.6% relief for all properties, effectively freezing the poundage rate next year
  • a full year’s 100% non-domestic rates relief for retail, hospitality and tourism  

Information and advice for businesses from the UK Government, Scottish Government and other agencies is changing rapidly. You will find all the latest information on business support for COVID-19, on the Find Business Support website (please sign up for email updates here) and the UK Government website

The latest government guidance is that all non-essential businesses and business premises must close with immediate effect as part of further social distancing measures, further details on this can be found on the UK government website.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a range of support including announcements on the, deferral of VAT and PAYE, Statutory Sick Pay relief.  The most up to date information is on the UK Government website.

The organisations listed below can also help your business with free-to-access checklists of what businesses can do to minimise the impacts of coronavirus on their operations (please click on their name for more information:

What to do if someone develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) on site

This advice is given under the proviso that your business is only open under the latest Government guidance of 23rd March 2020 which stated that all non-essential businesses and business premises must close with immediate effect.

If anyone becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature in the business or workplace they should be sent home and advised to follow the stay at home guidance.

If they need clinical advice, they should go online to NHS 111 or call 111 if they don’t have internet access. In an emergency, call 999 if they are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk. Do not visit the GP, pharmacy, urgent care centre or a hospital.

If a member of staff has helped someone who was taken unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, they do not need to go home unless they develop symptoms themselves. They should wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds after any contact with someone who is unwell with symptoms consistent with coronavirus infection.

Cleaning, disinfecting and waste disposal in non-healthcare settings

The Government has released hygiene guidance for individuals, households, and businesses on cleaning in non-healthcare settings.