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.
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.
- Full information related to what support is available, eligibility and how to apply can be found on the Find Business Support website
- For specific information on the Hospitality Top-up Fund for Midlothian-based businesses, please visit Businesses, employers and jobs - coronavirus update – The City of Edinburgh Council
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 email@example.com
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.
- If you are planning to start a new business, please register by completing our Planning to Start tool
- Existing businesses can register with the service by emailing BG@midlothian.gov.uk
- Visit our Business Gateway website for information on our services, including details of webinars and online resources
- The Find Business Support website is regularly updated with information on funding support schemes as they are announced by the Scottish Government
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
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
- Discover why Midlothian is such a great, green place to grow
- Hear from local businesses
- Find a job
- List your vacancy
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.
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.
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)
- 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
- Business Gateway National
- Scottish Government updates on Coronavirus in Scotland
- The Parent Club advice, tips and support for parents and carers
- SCVO information on third sector funding and resources to support the sector through the coronavirus pandemic
- Midlothian Third Sector Interface support charities, social enterprises and community groups and have Coronavirus information and resources for those working in and running a business in the third sector.
- Midlothian & East Lothian Chamber of Commerce
- Scottish Chambers of Commerce Coronavirus related business support
- The Federation of Small Businesses has made its Coronavirus information and guidance available to both members and non-members
- Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB):Advice for Farmers
- Supplier Development Programme tender ready webinars
- Just Enterprise support during the Coronavirus pandemic
- SAMH: Coronavirus and your mental wellbeing
- Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE): Redundancy help in Scotland
- Confederation of Business Industry (CBI): CBI COVID-19 Hub
- Ofcom has published advice for consumers on the increased incidences of email and text scams related to COVID-19. The advice outlines what you need to look out for and what action you should take if you are in doubt
- Visit Scotland Covid 19 recovery phases in Scotland
- Scottish Tourism Alliance: for regular updates on concerns and issues for the tourism sector being raised at Government level
- Association of Scotland’s Self Caterers
- ACAS advice and guidance for employers & employees
- The Financial Conduct Authority has issued guidance on what you can expect from mortgage lenders
- The Association of British Insurers have created a Coronavirus hub that will answer questions such as those below and many more:
- How are insurers supporting unoccupied premises where businesses are temporarily closed?
- If my business isn’t able to operate because of COVID-19, should I just cancel my insurance policy?
- UK Government guidance for employees, employers and businesses in providing advice about COVID-19