BUSINESS Gateway is enhancing its support available to help all those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
One-to-one appointments with specialist business advisors are now available via video or telephone calls. All previously planned workshops are now available as webinars, and a suite of new resources has been developed to support businesses trying to adapt to new circumstances.
This includes a tutorial on business continuity planning, advice on shifting work to the home environment, how to use digital channels to communicate with customers and employees and support for those experiencing stress and anxiety.
Small to medium enterprises account for 99.3% of all private sector businesses in Scotland and 320,000 self-employed workers.
Business Gateway is also working closely with local authorities to support the delivery of grants that will help businesses and the self-employed deal with the impact of COVID-19. These one-off grants are designed to help protect jobs, prevent business closures and promote economic recovery.
Councillor Steven Heddle, COSLA Environment and Economy spokesman, said: “The COVID-19 outbreak is undoubtedly one of the most significant peacetime challenges that this country has faced. I want to reassure business owners that Business Gateway and local authorities will continue to help them throughout the current crisis – whether that’s on the phone, a video call, a virtual workshop or through practical guidance on our website.
“We know that this situation feels confusing or overwhelming for business owners, and that having someone to speak to can be really helpful.
“That support is just one part of the combined effort that Local Government, through Local Authorities, COSLA and the Business Gateway service, working with the Scottish and UK Governments and other partners, is bringing to bear on this huge challenge.
“We will continue to provide new digital resources, expand our delivery of virtual services and, crucially, give businesses reassurance and advice throughout the coronavirus outbreak.”