Inverness Chamber of Commerce Covid-19 Hub

These are unprecedented times. People are doing their best to protect the companies they have worked so hard to grow, as well as trying to safeguard their staff and continue to serve customers. Many are already dealing with significant falloffs in revenue. Cash flow of course is a worry to a great number of us. We are deeply sorry to see so many businesses under such pressure, and we are committed to working to the fullest of our abilities in order to help.

We are delighted to have prepared a COVID-19 Business Survival Guide - a one stop shop for access to financial support schemes available to businesses, how and where to apply and further information on what the following schemes entail:

-Job Retention Scheme (full details from the Goverment website can be found here)
-Non-Domestic Rates/Grants
-CBILS Scheme (Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme) 
-Deferring Tax & Income Tax
-Paying Sick Pay To Employees

Get your copy of the guide here.

Inverness Chamber of Commerce exists to Connect, Support and Represent our members and no more so than now. We recognise that we have a leading role to play across the whole of the business community and wider society of the Highlands and Islands. We are fulfilling this purpose through close collaboration with Highland and Island Chambers of Commerce, and both the Scottish Chambers of Commerce and British Chambers of Commerce Networks as we share information, news, and ways of supporting businesses.

On behalf of Inverness Chamber of Commerce Members, Board of Directors and the wider Highland business community, our Chief Executive, Stewart Nicol has written to our MPs in collaboration with Chief Executives from across the Scottish Chamber of Commerce Network in relation to the challenge we are all facing from the Covid-19 pandemic. You can read his comments here.

We are following the guidelines issued by both the Scottish and UK Governments and NHS Scotland and urge all members to do likewise. You may find the following links helpful:

www.scottishchambers.org.uk/press-releases/businesssupportcovid19/
www.britishchambers.org.uk/page/coronavirus
www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19
www.findbusinesssupport.gov.scot
www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

Applications are now being accepted for the Small Business Grant by The Highland Council. You can download the form here. Please complete all of the parts of this application that apply to you in full, and email a copy to your local authority at COVID-19grants@highland.gov.uk. The Highland Council will review your application and assess if you are eligible for the grant. Councils will aim to make payment within 10 working days from receipt of a fully completed application. The deadline for applications to the Business Support Fund is 31 March 2021.

The Highland Council has also launched a free helpline that will give advice on a wide range of things including businesses who may need help with financial support. The single line number – 0300 303 1362 – will connect callers to relevant Council specialist teams and will operate Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm. All calls are free. 

Our various teams are all working from home and the office is staffed on an ad hoc basis. We are aiming to provide all of you with the best service and support we can, despite the circumstances. As you will appreciate, upcoming events have been cancelled, postponed, or are on hold. For the latest information on our events programme, please check out our website:
www.inverness-chamber.co.uk/events

During this time we believe community spirit has never been so needed, yet so prevalent throughout the community and we are extremely humbled by the acts of kindness we have observed as we're sure a lot of you are, too. With that said, we encourage you to use our Closed LinkedIn Group to continue supporting, collaborating and sharing useful information with your Highland colleagues. ICC are interested in hearing your good news stories which we will promote across our social channels and upcoming newsletter.

Can we remind you of the additional support that is available to our members from a number of partners:

HR, H&S and Legal Services: www.questcover.com
Westfield Health: www.westfieldhealth.com/chamber/chamber-primary-health-plan

Our emails are all being monitored, and the phone system is fully functioning with numbers forwarded appropriately. If you do need to contact us, the best means are by:
Phone: 01463 718131
Email: info@inverness-chamber.co.uk

We wish you and your teams the very best in combating this huge economic challenge and are pledged to help you in any way possible.
The whole team at Inverness Chamber of Commerce is ready to offer any help we can with any specific issues or concerns.