Coronavirus (COVID-19) will affect most businesses in some way. If you're a local business looking for help, and your questions aren't answered below, Business Gateway Falkirk will be able to signpost you to advice and support.

The Business Gateway Falkirk office in the Falkirk Stadium is closed to visitors. All advisers are working remotely and can be contacted on:

Business Gateway Falkirk

Where can I get general business advice relating to COVID-19?

Where can I get advice on business contingency planning?

Business Gateway has created a support page that lists free business resources including information on business contingency planning.

I am a Falkirk town centre business who do I go to for help?

As well accessing advice from Business Gateway Falkirk on 01324 590960 or via business@falkirk.gov.uk, you should contact Falkirk Delivers.

What support is there for tourism businesses?

VisitScotland (VS) has created a dedicated section on its website offering useful information and advice for businesses in the Tourism sector. VS has also announced it will provide all 4500 businesses in its quality assurance scheme with a free year for the 2020 season retain the star rating result. For more information email

The Scottish Tourism Alliance also produces a daily update for the industry that you can sign up up to.

What is the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme and who is it for?

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is expected to be up and running by end of April. All UK employers that had created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on 28 February 28 2020 will then be eligible to apply. To access the scheme you will need to designate employees as furloughed workers (employees on a leave of absence) and notify your employees of this change. You will then have to submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through an online portal which the HMRC hope to have live next month. The portal will then be used by employers to claim for 80% of their furloughed employees' usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage.

Guidance on claiming for wages through the scheme is now available online: GOV.UK - Claim for your employee's wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

What Scottish Government support is available to my business?

Please see our Business Support Fund Grant page.

Are there any short-term loans for my business?

A temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme was announced by the Chancellor. British Business Bank will deliver the loan scheme to support SMEs to access bank lending and overdrafts. To find out how the scheme works visit British Business Bank.

I am struggling to pay HMRC where do I go for help?

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC Time to Pay. You can contact HMRC on 0800 0159 559. More information is available online.

I may have to make staff redundant what support can I get?

Please read What is the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme and who is it for?

Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE)is the government's response to redundancy situations and offers free impartial advice no matter the size of the business nor how many employees are involved. The PACE helpline number is 0800 917 8000.

Where can I get help with my non-domestic rates?

Anyone struggling to repay pre-exiting arrears should contact our non-domestic rates team via

Please note, Scottish Government relief will be effective from the 1 April that will reduce non-domestic rates for everyone. Please note, due to the late notice of these changes rates bills will be issued later than normal. In addition, any ratepayer paying by Direct Debit over 12 months (April-March) will have no payment deducted in April this year and will pay over 11 instalments reflecting any entitled relief.

I'm struggling to pay my water bills, what support can I get?

The Scottish Government has agreed a £60m package of measures with the water industry, including Scottish Water's agreement to suspend pre-payment charges for licensed providers for two months, beginning with the April payment. This means providers - who supply water services to businesses – can be flexible with their own customers. The Central Marketing Agency will also assist the market by suspending all performance standard charges to ensure licensed providers can focus on supporting customers. We’ll update this answer when more information becomes available.

I am self-employed, what support is there for me?

The Chancellor has announced a Coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme. If you have suffered a loss of income, a taxable grant will be paid to self-employed and partnerships, worth 80% of your profits to a cap of £2,500. Initially, this will be available for 3 months in one lump sum payment and will start to be paid from the beginning of June.

You cannot apply for this scheme. HMRC will contact you if you are eligible and invite you to apply online. For more information visit:

Where can I get help with my lease on my Falkirk Council business premises?

Falkirk Council's commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus will not be subject to any new legal action in terms of their lease for at least 3 months from 25 March 2020. No business will be forced out of their premises if they miss paying rent during this period. Rental invoices and reminders will still be issued by the Council.

Cases will be considered further once the above support measures have been implemented and it is clearer as to the impact on each business. Any rent deferred as a consequence will be part of these discussions with you. Please contact the property team at property@falkirk.gov.uk for any further information.

Is my business allowed to remain open and what guidelines should I follow?

The Scottish Government has now produced guidance for businesses in Scotland on social distancing, including the closure of all retailers that sell non-essential goods and other non-essential premises due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This guidance also includes information on what procedures businesses which are allowed to remain open should now follow.

Is there any support for charities, social enterprises or voluntary organisations?

The Third Sector Resilience Fund (TSRF) - a £20m emergency fund for charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations working in Scotland - is now open for applications. The fund has been set up to help third sector organisations stabilise and manage cash flow over this difficult period. For full eligibility details and how to apply visit SCVO Funding.

I work in the creative industries, what support is available to me?

Creative Scotland has launched 3 funding programmes designed to provide support to sustain the country's creative community during the COVID-19 outbreak: