Find out how we can help your business through the coronavirus

Business Gateway is here to help Scottish businesses get through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We have local offices and experienced advisers across Scotland working with thousands of businesses. Plus we have free online support, guides, and the latest news on funding and grants.

Local Office Business Support

What we can do to help your business

As businesses across Scotland look to plan, change and adapt, Business Gateway is here to provide you with tailored 1:1 support (via phone or video call), route you to the right Government funding package, offer free webinars, guides, checklists and advice.

We are here to support you. See below for a range of the resources that we have already put together and contact your local Business Gateway office for 1:1 advice.

Funding and grants

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Use this service to search for the latest funding news, official guidance and support from across Scotland. Updated daily.

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Coronavirus financial support finder

Use this business support finder from the UK Government to see what support is available for you and your business.

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Universal Credit for the self-employed

We have produced this short guide to applying for financial support if you are self-employed and affected by the coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak.

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Support for creative professionals and organisations

Creative Scotland funding is open to individuals, groups or organisations to apply for, supporting a wide range of activity in the arts, screen and creative industries. View the programmes for more information about what each will support and how to apply.

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Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

Employers can find out if you can use the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to reclaim employees' coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

Back to business

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DigitalBoost upskilling and support

Get free 1:1 consultancy, access webinars & online support plus a free healthcheck from our DigitalBoost programme.

Connections Podcast

Connections Podcast

Our new Connections podcast series explores the challenges facing business in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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6 top tips on how to network in today's world

Networking is the most effective way to make connections which may help your business. For insight and advice on the key to building a meaningful network in a digital world, take a few minutes to read our 6 top tips.

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5 tips for reopening your business after lockdown

As many businesses look to reopen their premises after lockdown, Brian Lawrie, Vice Chair of the Society of Chief Environmental Health Officers of Scotland, outlines the 5 priority things you should look at.

Test Your Business Idea

Quick ways to test your business idea is viable

Here we look at some of the quickest and lowest cost ways to establish whether your business idea could work.

Digital Presence

Checklist for start-ups – setting up your digital presence

For most startups, setting up a digital presence is a key step in getting a new business ready for launch, whether that’s a website, Facebook page, an email address or more. This checklist covers the things you are most likely to need.

Business Model

An introduction to digital business models for your new business idea

This guide outlines some common digital business models to help you come up with ideas and choose the best option to fit your circumstances and ambition.

Customer Retention

Five top tips for retaining customers after lockdown

Winning new customers is hard work which means retaining them is critical. Here’s five tips to help you put customer retention at the heart of your business.

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How to start a business in challenging times

The COVID-19 crisis has presented many challenges for businesses. But that shouldn’t discourage you from starting your own business. We summarise some key considerations to help you get things moving.

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How to diversify your small business

As a result of Covid-19, many more businesses are looking to diversify - either to seize new opportunities, or simply to survive in very difficult trading conditions. We focus on the ways small businesses can quickly diversify (either temporarily or more permanently) by taking a fresh look at what they do.


Guide to selecting an online booking system

Government regulations around Covid-19 mean that many more businesses now need formal booking systems to manage social distancing between customers.

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Keeping your customers up to date – a checklist

It’s easy to get distracted by the day-to-day running of your business, and not notice that your digital content is out of date, which is a real risk at present. Make sure you regularly review your customer communications.

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Next steps once you’ve started selling online

In the early days of lockdown, many small businesses which normally interacted face-to-face with customers had to rush to create a short-term online offering to get through the first few weeks. Here are some next steps once you've started selling online.

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Action plan for managing your new online platform

At the start of the pandemic, many businesses rushed to create a new online presence to sell their products and services. Read this action plan for managing your new online platform.

Selecting The Right Platform

Q & A - Selecting the right platforms to run online classes

During the Covid-19 lockdown, many instructors have been rushing to switch their face-to-face class into online formats. We spoke to Sonia Rutherford and Sarah Johnson from data-driven marketing agency, IndigoLeap, about what’s involved when moving physical classes online.

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Switching to trading online – what you need to know

In these difficult times, trading online may be the only, or most efficient way for you to sell your products and services. This tutorial explains what’s involved in getting into online trading and, once you are set up, how to make a success of it.

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Actions for businesses to consider during the current coronavirus pandemic

We round up some key actions that businesses should consider during this challenging time.

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Using digital to reach your customers quickly in a crisis - advice for SMES

Covid-19 is forcing everyone to work differently. If embracing digital was always ‘one of those things we’ll eventually get round to’, it will now be top of your list if your customers can’t come to you.

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Managing your business reputation during the coronavirus

This guide summarises some of the most important considerations for businesses and some tips on how to stay visible, on message and on brand during these unusual and uncertain times. We hope these help you to prioritise and develop an action plan for your business.

Customer Feedback

4 ways customer feedback can help you right now

To minimise the risk of wasted resources, it’s important to regularly gather data and feedback from customers and make best use of your digital platforms to help with this. Here’s four ways this can help you adapt.

Be Your Own Boss

Business planning

As your business develops and changes, so should your business plan. That’s why we have created a series of templates and guides to help you structure and plan your business better.

Sector and official guidance

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Coronavirus support and advice for businesses in Scotland

Find the latest support, advice and updates for businesses in Scotland affected by the coronavirus.

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Scottish Government – Safe working guidance for business

The Scottish Government have released guidance for businesses and workplaces on reducing the risk of COVID-19 and supporting staff and customers.

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Health and Safety Executive (HSE) risk assessment

A risk assessment along with guides to safe working for all businesses are available from HSE.

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Reopening and adapting your food business

Guidance on hygiene and food safety requirements for food businesses to reopen and operate safely during COVID-19.

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Coronavirus test and protect advice for employers

Advice for employers on helping staff who need to self-isolate at home.

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British Retail Consortium (BRC) guidance

The safety and wellbeing of every retailers’ staff and customers is a top priority. BRC has produced recommendations which will assist retailers to facilitate the introduction of social distancing. It covers retail and warehouse and distribution centres.

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Our local and national webinar programme covers a wide range of topics to help your business with all of the issues it faces due to the coronavirus.

Book your free place now

Marketing and rebuilding sales

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Upgrading your website - A checklist of what to consider

Find out what key elements you need to consider when upgrading your website on a website building platform such as Squarespace, WordPress, and Wix.

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An introduction to Google Data Studio for small businesses

If you have an online presence, then after a bit of time invested in setting it up, Data Studio can help you access and analyse critical data for your business, saving you time and helping you to make the best decisions.

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How to choose an email marketing platform

Email marketing is a channel that has stood the test of time and is one of the most effective ways for small businesses to communicate directly with their customers and prospects. This guide will help you choose the right platform for your business.

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5 ways you can gain insights from online competitor analysis

Whatever stage your business is at, analysing your competitors can help you find opportunities and keep on top of industry trends. Here we take a look at what information you should look for and how to make the best use of free digital tools.

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Digital tools and techniques to identify consumer trends

Keeping an eye on customer trends in your sector can inspire innovation, identify growth markets, emerging products and even spot untapped demand. We outline some digital tools and techniques that can help you.

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Managing and optimising your Google My Business profile

To provide a strong user experience for visitors, ensure your profile is correctly populated, optimised and make use of some of the additional features.

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Finding new customers with digital marketing - a route map

Within the current climate, a key concern for many small businesses is how to find new customers as the economy restarts. Find out which digital channels are the best fit for you.

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Claim it or leave it – could Google My Business boost your marketing?

Often overlooked in marketing, Google My Business is a straightforward, easy and free tool that helps small businesses raise their local profile in Google’s search results.

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Step-by-step guide - claiming and populating your Google My Business profile

If your business serves customers face-to-face and in a specific local area, then a Business Profile within Google My Business can be particularly useful.


Keeping your SEO and PPC up to date

As your business operations and service levels change amid COVID-19, it’s important to update your SEO and PPC activities.

Podcast Guide

How to make a podcast for your business in 11 simple steps

With many companies turning to digital tools to stay connected with customers and to stay visible within communities during the coronavirus, podcasts are a fantastic way of opening a natural dialogue between business and customers. But where do you start?

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5 ways you can use email to communicate with your customers during the coronavirus

During the Covid-19 crisis, digital channels are especially valuable for helping businesses react quickly and keep their customers up-to-date. Here is a run down on how you can use email to improve communication with customers.


5 point plan to keep in touch with customers

During COVID-19 it’s worth proactively maintaining a relationship with your customers wherever you can. Here are some tips on how to use digital to stay in touch.

Getting Your Tone Right

7 tips to getting your tone right in business communications during the coronavirus

During the pandemic, customer communication through your digital channels is essential. Whether you are updating customers of changes to your business, products or services, the words that you use and the tone that you take are incredibly important to your ongoing customer relationships.

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Using & reviewing digital channels during coronavirus/COVID-19

All organisations can use digital tools and channels to respond quickly and communicate with customers, staff and suppliers.

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Experienced local business advisers, webinars & access to further support

Find your nearest office

HR and mental health

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Developing HR processes to fit with virtual working

Alison Bell of Bell HR Consulting examines the impact prolonged, or even permanent, home working will have on the recruitment and induction processes.

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Key steps in redundancy

Alison Bell of Bell HR Consulting provides an overview of the key steps in the redundancy process.

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COVID-19 impact on Employment Documents

HR consultant to Business Gateway, Alison Bell, provides guidance on the temporary changes employers should consider making to employment documentation.

Employee Wellbeing

Employee Wellbeing

This video tutorial will help businesses gain a deeper understanding of employee wellbeing and mental health and provides guidance on how to maintain physical wellbeing and implement a positive mental health culture in the workplace.

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Getting back to business: HR considerations

HR consultant to Business Gateway, Alison Bell, answers some commonly asked questions, and provides some suggestions on options employers may wish to consider as part of a restructure post COVID-19.

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Getting back to business: HR guidance for employers

As lockdown eases, business owners may be considering plans for returning to trading and thinking about what this means for their workforce. To help navigate this challenging time, we spoke to two of our specialist advisors to get some expert guidance and answers on some of the most FAQs.

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COVID-19 business resilience and the future of work

Geraldine Higgins from Flexibility Works talks us through what businesses can expect and do to prepare for more flexible working.

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Supporting your wellbeing and mental health during Covid-19 and beyond

Catriona Davies from Resolution Mediation Scotland has a wealth of experience in supporting teams and staff’s wellbeing. We asked her for some tips on how we can ensure that we continue to remain well during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Supporting your staff's mental wellbeing during Covid-19 and beyond

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to evolve and change, the role of a leader has never been more crucial. We spoke to Catriona Davies of Resolution Mediation Scotland, who has years of supporting companies to provide mental wellbeing within teams, for some top tips and resources to help leaders and managers.

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Managing conflict whilst home working

Working from home can create challenges for ourselves and also how we interact with the people that we work with. As we learn to adapt to our new working environment, we spoke to Catriona Davies from Resolution Mediation Scotland, a specialist in conflict resolution and mediation, about some tips we can all use to manage conflict during these times.

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Why emotional wellbeing is so important during Covid-19

In these unprecedented times, emotional and mental wellbeing is so important right now. How we support our self, how we support others within our business or business contacts is absolutely crucial.

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A checklist for business owners work/life balance during lockdown

Running a business, working from home and managing your work/life balance mean different things to different people. We are all having to adapt. But for some it may be easier than others. Catriona Davies from Resolution Mediation Scotland provides us with a useful checklist that should help everyone cope a bit better with the situation.

Healthy Working Lives

Healthy Working Lives

Healthy Working Lives have created a bank of useful resources for employers and employees around planning to return to work and mental health.

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Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) employer obligations

This short guide gives an outline on your obligations as an employer when it comes to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

Clear Your Head

Clear your head – and feel better

It’s important we look after ourselves now more than ever. Read these practical tips on how to clear your head from the Scottish Government.

Working remotely

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Adopting flexible & remote working into your business

Prepare your business for more flexible & remote working with this video tutorial, learn about the benefits, strategies & best practice involved in adopting this into your organisation.


Managing a team remotely – how to make it work better for everyone

The rapid spread of the coronavirus is presenting huge challenges across every industry in the world, as businesses adapt to new directives and restrictions on movement.

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Webinars, live streams and video conferences: Running a business remotely

While we are all dealing with coronavirus travel restrictions, it’s even more important to know how to interact with colleagues, clients and customers online. This tutorial gives you an insight into what’s possible and how you set about doing it.

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Online Tutorials

You can watch these Online Tutorials 24/7 and they cover a wide range of topics relevant to getting your business through the coronavirus crisis including Trading Online, Crisis PR, Social Media and Digital Strategy.

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Closing a business

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Redundancy support for employers & employees

PACE (Partnership Action for Continuing Employment) is the Scottish Government’s programme offering individuals & employees advice & support when faced with redundancy.

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Closing a business – making that decision and what you have to consider

No one could have forecast the current business climate in Scotland. There is no easy guidance through this unprecedented situation, just words of support, direction and government guidelines that change and are updated on a daily basis.

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14 points to consider when closing your premises during self-isolation

At the moment most businesses have had to close their premises and although there are also less people on the streets we wanted to remind you of some security measures that you should consider when closing up.

Cafes And Restaurants

Advice and actions for cafes regarding temporary closures due to coronavirus

With cafes closed or working as takeaways we spoke to Café and Restaurant Management Consultant Angela Lyons who has worked in the industry for over 17 years.

Other business support

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Other business support from across Scotland

Find Business Support is available to help Scottish businesses find the support they need - offering services from across the public sector in the one place.

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Federation of Small Business (fsb)

fsb is the largest business campaigning group in the UK and is providing support and services to its members and non-members during the coronavirus.

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Scottish Government business news

Visit the Scottish Government website for the latest business guidance information, funding announcements and business related statements on the coronavirus.

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UK Government business news

Visit the UK Government website for the latest business guidance information, funding announcements and business related statements on the coronvirus.