Advice for businesses and jobseekers

Current COVID-19 restrictions

People have been asked to work from home if possible to help reduce transmission of the Omicron COVID-19 variant. Businesses should consider at this time whether their staff need to be in an office at all.

Business guidance

The Scottish Government has published updated guidance for shops, hospitality venues and other businesses to take effect from 00.01 Friday 17 December. Please see the links below for details:

You can get further information on support available to your business on Find Business Support 

Funding to support businesses

The Scottish Government has announced funding to help businesses affected by restrictions brought in on Tuesday 14 December 2021.

Please note, applications to this fund are administered by the Scottish Government with local authorities processing the payments to businesses in January 2022. 

If you are a business who is affected by the recently announced restrictions, and have read all information and guidance provided on the Find Business Support and Scottish Government websites but still have further questions on the Scottish Government's recently announced support for businesses, please email: CovidBusinessSupport@gov.scot

Coronavirus Business Ventilation Fund

The Business Ventilation Fund will provide funding to help small and medium sized businesses improve their ventilation, and help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Businesses can claim up to £2,500 per eligible premises to recover the costs of carrying out work to improve ventilation and air quality. This could include:

  • installing carbon dioxide monitors
  • repairs to windows and vents

Support will initially target high-risk settings where people come into close contact, such as restaurants, bars and gyms.

  • The Business Ventilation Fund is a Scottish Government fund. Full details and eligibility checker are available on the FindBusinessSupport website.

Business Gateway Midlothian

The Business Gateway Midlothian office remains closed to visitors. Advisers continue to work remotely keeping staff and customers safe and supporting Midlothian Council’s Net Zero 2030 target. Please direct all enquiries to bg@midlothian.gov.uk

Are you registered with Business Gateway Midlothian?

Registering with Business Gateway Midlothian will provide you with a dedicated adviser who will support you in all aspects of developing and growing your business.

Business Gateway will continue to provide website and social media updates related to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, so please do keep checking back to stay informed.
If you need adviser support, please contact the team at the email address below.

Business Gateway contact details

Follow us on social media

Business Gateway webinars

Business Gateway has a suite of webinars and online tutorials to help you manage your business now and for the future:

Locate in Midlothian website

If you're looking to start a new business venture, grow an existing company, relocate with your family or simply want to visit the area, the newly launched Locate in Midlothian website gives you all the tools, support and information you need.

Online details

Retail, Hospitality, Leisure and Aviation rates relief

Retail, hospitality, leisure and aviation businesses impacted by COVID-19 can apply for 100% business rates relief during 2021-22.

To get this relief, a property has to be occupied. Properties that have closed temporarily due to the government's coronavirus advice will be treated as occupied.

The City of Edinburgh Council are managing this for eligible Midlothian businesses, but you must apply if you think your business is eligible.

If your property is already in receipt of 100% non-domestic rate relief in 2021-22, such as through the small business bonus scheme, you should not apply for Retail, Hospitality, Leisure and Aviation relief.

Funds awarded

A total of £24,422,285 in Scottish Government funding support to local businesses in Midlothian was awarded up to the end of September 2021.

Self Employment Income Support Scheme

Claims for the fifth SEISS grant have now closed. The last date for making a claim was 30 September 2021. Full details of the scheme are available on the GOV.UK website

Further financial support for the self-employed

Current guidelines are that the self-employed can claim Universal Credit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

The Money Advice Service has issued guidance for the self-employed and sole traders, and a useful tool to help you identify what your entitlement for Universal Credit would be.

See also the section on the HMRC Self-employment Income Support Scheme above.

If you are told by the Test and Protect Service to self-isolate because of close contact with someone who has Covid-19, you may be eligible for a £500 lump sum called a self-isolation support grant

Healthy Working Lives - Safe Return to Work

Ensure you are protecting your business, employees and customers with a safe return to work plan.

Healthy Working Lives, funded by Public Health Scotland, have practical information and guidance to help your business reopen.

Complete a risk assessment and engage with your staff to keep everyone informed and safe.

Jobs support (online portal)

Are you:

  • at risk of losing your job, facing reduced hours or need support to secure work?
  • a business looking to recruit urgently to respond to high demands as a result of COVID-19?

If so, you can register your details at a new Covid-19 Jobs and Support portal. It allows you to advertise jobs, search for live vacancies, recruit employees, link to employability support and find up-to-date information on your rights.

After you register, you can search for job opportunities, add your skills and qualifications, upload your CV and cover letter, and tailor your job preferences.

Hospitality and tourism job portal

A free-to-use jobs portal to help workers from the tourism and hospitality sectors who’ve found themselves displaced as a result of COVID-19 has been launched, supported by the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) and UK Hospitality.

The portal helps those who have already been made redundant or who have had contracts terminated. It also allowed companies, such as those in the food and drink, retail and care sectors with under-employed staff, to second them to work in other sectors during the crisis. Video-screening will be provided as part of the service to speed up the recruitment process.

The portal will not be visible to the public, and can only be accessed by the tourism and hospitality community through a link provided by participating companies.

If you're having to let go of staff, or if you're an organisation wishing to register vacancies, please email HospitalityUnite@Harri.com to receive more information.     

More information and useful contacts

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