Scottish Chambers of Commerce
COVID-19 Update - 21 May 2020
This update has been prepared by SCC for Network distribution so please feel free to share
Scottish Government Publish Roadmap Through And Out Of Covid-19 Crisis
Today the Scottish Government released its COVID-19 Framework for Decision Making - Scotland's route map through and out of the crisis.
The Scottish Government is advising everyone to read the document, which sets out the steps it will take to start easing the current lockdown.
The 4 Phase plan will look at all sectors and outline how the country will gradually be able to return to a "new normal," as safely and as timeously as possible.
The First Minister stressed today that the current measures remain in place until the next lockdown review which is on 28 May 2020.
Responding to the publication of the Scottish Government’s roadmap for Scotland through and out of the Covid-19 crisis, Dr Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce said:
"This route map on the staged exit of lockdown is a welcome and helpful start. Businesses have been clear they need practical guidance on when they can return to the workplace and what measures they need to put in place to ensure the safety of their staff and customers.
"Many employers have already implemented preventative measures to protect our employees and our customers and we ask that the publication of detailed sectoral guidelines are accelerated to support businesses to prepare. Whilst today’s route map helps us to understand the sequencing of relaxing the lockdown, the absence of a more detailed time plan for each phase still means that businesses, employees and consumers cannot make plans with complete certainty.
"Focus until now has correctly been on protecting lives but we need to start balancing this with safeguarding jobs and the economy. This can be achieved with business and Government working together and we are pleased to see the Scottish Government emphasising a partnership approach in today's document. This recognises it is our joint responsibilities to take the necessary steps to keep the virus under control while re-starting our economy together.
"The Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network, will work proactively with the Scottish Government to help deliver ways of working that will ensure the health of people in Scotland is maintained and our economy is protected."
Summary Document From Scottish Chambers of Commerce
Scottish Chambers has prepared a summary document containing key information from Chapter 3 of the Roadmap: Phased approach to varying restrictions where the Scottish Government have provided information which will determine what (and how) lockdown measures may ease through 4 phases as control of the disease becomes more containable.
This can be found below, and you are free to share this within your own networks, including members.
This image was taken pre Covid-19 Lockdown
SCC Call With Cabinet Secretary For Economy Fiona Hyslop MSP
On a call today with Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fiona Hyslop MSP, Liz Cameron, Chief Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce welcomed the Route Map out of lockdown. Liz also raised the following points on behalf of the Network:
- SCC Network welcomed the Scottish Government’s commitment to partnership working in the document and noted the Network will continue to pro-actively contribute to shape and inform guidance and business support;
- The Route Map was welcomed and SCC reinforced the need for practical, clear sectoral guidance. SCC asked for the publication of sector guidance to be accelerated; and
- SCC also noted the interdependencies between transport, schooling, childcare and return to the workplace and employee safety.
Schools in Scotland To Re-open In August
Pupils will return to schools in August subject to scientific advice that it is safe to do so, Deputy First Minister John Swinney has confirmed.
Schools will return on 11 August, one week earlier than planned for most pupils, while Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) settings will open over the summer.
To maximise the time pupils can have in the classroom and support children in the new model of schooling, including digital home learning, the Scottish Government is investing £9 million for 25,000 laptops or tablets – with internet access provided – for disadvantaged children as part of the first phase of provision to support their learning outside school.
Working with local authorities, a second phase of investment will see further funding to support digital inclusion.
Education Scotland will also deliver new national digital learning resources to support schools’ own arrangements for children and young people.
MSPs Support Further Emergency Coronavirus Legislation
The Scottish Parliament has unanimously supported new emergency measures to help people in Scotland get through the crisis caused by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.
The Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Bill, now passed by Parliament, gives powers to Scottish Ministers to temporarily intervene and manage care home services where there is a serious risk to the life, health or wellbeing of any person in that home for any reason connected with COVID-19.
The Bill also includes an additional £19.2m investment in the Carer’s Allowance Supplement, the introduction of notice to leave periods for students in purpose-built student accommodation, and additional protections for those facing bankruptcy.
During the debate, Housing Minister Kevin Stewart has also confirmed an additional £5m will be made available to local authorities through Discretionary Housing Payments, to support tenants who are now under severe financial pressures.
UK Government Launches New £40m Clean Growth Fund
The UK government is launching a new effort to support green start-up companies across the UK, joint-funding a £40m venture capital fund to supercharge the development of next generation clean, low-carbon technologies.
The Clean Growth Fund will contribute towards the UK’s plans to reach Net Zero by 2050 and will be accessible to UK-based companies driving green technology across the power, transport, waste, and building energy efficiency sectors.
With £20 million of government investment matched pound for pound by CCLA, one of the UK’s largest charity fund managers, the fund could reach £100 million by Autumn 2021 through private sector fundraising.
The Fund is now seeking wider private sector investment and will aim to balance its portfolio across clean growth sectors. Investment parameters for the Fund focus on clean growth technologies, hardware, products and services in sectors including power generation, waste, energy networks, buildings management, industries, bioenergy and alternative fuels.
BrewDog Kickstart Collective
North-east beer giant BrewDog has announced a new initiative, which will help independent bars, pubs and bottleshops reopen across the UK..
The BrewDog Kickstart Collective aims to assist a number of businesses which have suffered due to the pandemic.
Any independent bar, pub or bottle shop can apply to form part of the collective, which will be used to support independent businesses across the UK, and help them navigate the challenges of reopening after the coronavirus crisis.
The Q2 2020 Quarterly Economic Indicator survey fieldwork launched on Monday and will finish on Monday 8th June.
Communication materials and the survey link have been shared with Chambers and we hope that you can these use to promote it among your board, members and partners.
The data for this QEI will be the first major source for comparison with pre Covid-19 data.
Alongside SCC's collaboration with the British Chambers of Commerce, the overall results will indicate the seismic shift from pre Covid-19 business conditions to the present and give a clearer picture of the situation facing businesses across the UK.
SCC Covid-19 Recovery Survey Media Coverage.
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Opens.
Scotland Aims To Ease Lockdown On 28 May 2020.
FM says Scotland 'Needs To Get Some Normality Back'.
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The SCC Business Support Hub
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The Hub is updated daily and includes information on business support, access to finance, contact numbers, public information and travel advice.
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