Whilst direct financial help from government and other agencies is at the forefront of most businesses’ survival strategy, there are also a number of indirect support measures being put into place which aim to help and support all businesses.

These include specific responses from local authority departments, various Scottish Trusts and industries who have worked collaboratively to address specific needs. The measures include help with cost centres and challenges including those around HR, recruitment, business growth and innovation, and both digital and utility provision during lockdown.  

The following points summarises some of the key support now available. Should you have additional information to add, please email businessdevelopment@pkc.gov.uk.

See also: Financial Aid from Government | Other Financial Assistance

Additional Business Support

The Kickstart scheme is a £2 billion fund launched by the UK government to create job placements for 16 to 24 year olds who are on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long term unemployment.

The job placements created with Kickstart funding must be new jobs. They must not replace existing or planned vacancies and cannot cause existing employees, apprentices or contractors to lose or reduce their working hours.

You’ll get £1,500 funding per job placement. This is for setup costs and to support the young person develop their employability skills. If someone else helps you to do some of this for you, such as your Kickstart gateway, you’ll have to agree how you will share this money.

The job placements must be a minimum of 25 hours per week, for 6 months and pay at least the National Minimum Wage or the National Living Wage for the employee’s age group. They should require basic training only.

For each job placement you must help the young person become more employable. This could include:

  • Looking for long-term work, including career advice and setting goals
  • Support with curriculum vitae (CV) and interview preparations
  • Developing their skills in the workplace
  • The young person may be able to move to another employment scheme when they’ve finished their 6-month Kickstart Scheme job placement.

A Kickstart Scheme application must be for a minimum of 30 job placements. If a single employer cannot provide this many job placements, they can apply through and existing Kickstart gateway, which in the Perth & Kinross Local Authority area is Perthshire Chamber of Commerce.

To find out more about working with Perthshire Chamber of Commerce on this, please email info@perthshirechamber.co.uk.

Employers of all sizes can apply for funding which covers:

  • 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours per week for a total of 6 months
  • Associated employer National Insurance contributions
  • Employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions
  • Employers can spread the start date of the job placements up until the end of December 2021.
  • Further funding is available for training and support so that young people on the scheme can get a job in the future.

Detailed guidance around the Kickstart Scheme can be accessed via the UK Government website.

BT has introduced a range of new measures to help small business boost their connectivity, cash flow and confidence

Boosting Connectivity

Funding ultrafast business connections: BT is helping to fund the total cost of an Ethernet line by subsidising the total cost by up to £2,500 per customer.

Bursaries for UK start-ups: BT has launched a new bursary scheme to give 1,000 UK start-ups and entrepreneurs a financial head start.

Eligible companies can apply for a bursary to benefit from six months free fibre broadband and mobile bundles.

You’ll need to have set up your company after 1 October 2019

  • You’ll need to be taking BT Broadband for the first time
  • Helping small businesses to go cashless: BT is preparing to launch a new digital payments solution, to help small businesses move to cashless transactions. Further details will be announced in due course.

Building Confidence

Helping small businesses access the full power of digital and social media advertising: BT is looking to help small firms across the UK to better promote their goods and services online. More details will be announced in due course.

Supporting small businesses through mentoring: BT is introducing a new mentoring scheme for small businesses, to provide them with free access to its expertise across strategy, marketing, sales, and more. BT will support businesses via Digital Boost, a free non-profit platform uniting digital experts with leaders of small businesses and charities.

Find out more about the BT Small Business Support Scheme via the BT website.

Funding ultrafast business connections: Find out more from your local BT representative.

Bursaries for UK start-ups: Register your interest via the BT website today and BT will call you the next working day to talk through the next steps.

Skills Development Scotland – you may know them as SDS – offer support for workforce development and business change. Whilst they are striving to work with businesses to ensure redundancies remain at a minimum, SDS understands the increasingly difficult situation companies are facing.

Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) is the Scottish Government’s initiative to help individuals and employers during redundancy situations.  PACE supports businesses of any size, no matter how many employees are involved. It’s free of charge, and can help take away some of the strain of dealing with redundancy.

The PACE services SDS offers employers can be found here>>>

If any Perth & Kinross businesses would like to use PACE services for their staff, they can contact 0800 917 8000 or contact Corinne Milligan directly on 01738 637 639.

For individual customers affected by redundancy SDS services are available and we would encourage you to pass these details on to any staff who may be affected. The local Perth branch number is 01738 637639 and more information can be found here.

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