News

The Latest news from Dumfries and Galloway Chamber of Commerce -

Keep up to date with the latest news and stories from across Dumfries & Galloway.

 

Recovery Loan Scheme

The Recovery Loan Scheme will provide support to UK businesses as they recover and grow following the disruption of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.


The scheme ensures that businesses of any size can continue to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £10 million per business once the existing COVID-19 loan schemes close.

 

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The UK Government will guarantee 80% of the finance to the lender to give them the confidence to lend to businesses.


• Term loans and overdrafts will be available in amounts between £25,001 and £10 million per business.
• Invoice finance and asset finance will be available in amounts between £1,000 and £10 million per business.

Once received, the finance can be used for any legitimate business purpose, including growth and investment.
Applications are open until 31 December 2021, subject to review.


Loans will be available through a network of accredited lenders - you can search for a lender on the British Business Bank website.

 

FIND OUT MORE BY CLICKING HERE

Business Rates Relief

The Scottish Government has introduced extra rates relief discounts to help owners of non-domestic properties, including businesses, deal with the impact of coronavirus.

 

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The discounts include:
• 1.6% relief on all non-domestic properties in Scotland
• 100% rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses
• Small Business Bonus Scheme
• Payment deferral
• Support for water bills

The rates relief is available to non-domestic properties from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021. Retail, hospitality, leisure and aviation businesses will have their relief extended for at least an additional three months.


You do not need to apply for the following relief – it will be applied to your bill automatically by your council:
• 1.6% relief on all non-domestic properties in Scotland
• 100% rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

You need to apply for the Small Business Bonus Scheme through your local authority by completing an application form. You should be able to find this on your council's website.

For payment deferral, you need to contact your local authority.


For water bills support, you should contact your water services supplier directly.

 

FIND OUT MORE BY CLICKING HERE

DGChamber President Kenny Bowie Welcomes Global Travel Framework but warns we need the “detail”

Responding to the UK Government’s announcement on a traffic light system for the restart of international travel, Kenny Bowie, President - DGChamber, said:

 

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“Whilst this announcement does not give a full and meaningful restart to the aviation and tourism industry, there are signs of green shoots emerging. The new green category does not require burdensome quarantine measures, giving some element of confidence to passengers and airlines. We will want to know the list of countries and travel criteria as soon as possible to give the industry and consumers time to prepare for re-opening, booking journeys and planning with confidence and clarity.

“The proposed testing and quarantine regime addresses some of our concerns but will still add significant costs that could restrict the industry’s customer base and limit destination options. Our airport operators have already invested millions in effective testing: the UK Government needs to quickly consider and explore affordable options which have been proven to be equally as effective.     

“We still have remaining concerns that there is not yet a four-nations approach to the restarting of international travel, with potential disparity between the nations of when and where people can travel. We need a joint approach across the nations if Scottish businesses have any chance of rebuilding and retaining jobs. Failure to do so will only add further confusion and massive financial impact on Scottish airports and its supply chain.”

£2.8m Town Hall Project Funding Success

VOLUNTEER community activists at Whithorn have been commended by the local MP on their latest success.

 

Alister Jack praised the team behind the redevelopment of the historic Royal Burgh's New Town Hall on reaching their £2.8 million target.

 

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Members of the All Roads Lead to Whithorn charitable trust have confirmed that their four-year effort to complete a portfolio of funders has been successfully completed.

 

They plan to announce details of the final substantial contribution later in the spring. 

 

The trust has also revealed that south-west Scotland based 3b Construction, which has a depot at Port William and employs local craftsmen, has been awarded the contract after a tendering process.

 

The restoration retains original front features of the building but inside involves a major reconstruction completed to modern environmental standards, featuring a community hall, kitchens and a well-equipped mezzanine sports and fitness floor.

 

At the rear of the complex will be a purpose-built bunkhouse providing affordable accommodation for visitors, including walkers and cyclists completing the 149-miles Whithorn Way, which begins at Glasgow Cathedral.

 

Mr Jack, who is also Scottish Secretary, has over a period of time written letters in support of the project and helped put the group in touch with potential funding organisations.

 

He said: "The trust members and their company secretary Julia Muir-Watt have worked tirelessly to take this project forward, which I know was extremely challenging at times.

 

"I'm absolutely delighted that work has been rewarded with construction set to begin in June and could be completed as soon as late next year.

 

"The project preserves a landmark building in Whithorn but will also be a great community asset and further visitor attraction in this scenic and historically significant part of my constituency."

 

Meanwhile, All Roads Lead to Whithorn are progressing an ambitious second project, costing £500,000, to create two energy efficient homes within the shell of the town's former Grapes Hotel.

Business Rates Relief

The Scottish Government has introduced extra rates relief discounts to help owners of non-domestic properties, including businesses, deal with the impact of coronavirus.

The discounts include:

  • 1.6% relief on all non-domestic properties in Scotland
  • 100% rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses
  • Small Business Bonus Scheme 
  • Payment deferral
  • Support for water bills

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The rates relief is available to non-domestic properties from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021. Retail, hospitality, leisure and aviation businesses will have their relief extended for at least an additional three months.

You do not need to apply for the following relief – it will be applied to your bill automatically by your council:

  • 1.6% relief on all non-domestic properties in Scotland
  • 100% rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

You need to  apply for the Small Business Bonus Scheme  through your local authority by completing an application form. You should be able to find this on your council's website.

For payment deferral, you need to contact your local authority.

For water bills support, you should contact your water services supplier directly.

 

READ MORE