UK Government announces new Bounce Back Loan scheme for SMEs

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) affected by coronavirus can now apply for loans of up to £50,000.


The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced the new ‘Bounce Back Loans’ scheme yesterday (27 April) which will help SMEs to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000.


The loans, which will be available from Monday 4 May, will be completely guaranteed by the government so there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months.


Loan terms will be up to 6 years and no repayments will be due during the first 12 months.  The government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest for the remaining period of the loan.


Click for more information on the scheme.




Exterity wins Queen’s Award for international trade

Dalgety Bay-based tech firm, Exterity, has been awarded a prestigious Queen’s Award for International Trade.


The company, which produces hardware and software for in-house video systems in hotels, cruises and government buildings around the world, employs 90 staff in Fife.


Exterity has seen strong growth over the past three years, achieving sales of around £16 million last year.


Chief Executive of the company, Colin Farquhar, said he was delighted to be one of the eight Scottish companies who have won the award this year.


“Exports are a big part of what we do, accounting for 80% of our sales,” he said.


“We have offices in France, Dubai, South Africa, Singapore, Australia and the USA and have carried out projects all over the world.”


Click to read the whole story in The Courier.


Click for more information on the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Open for Claims

Businesses can now claim for support from the UK Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Through the scheme employers can claim for a grant for 80% of their employee’s wages, plus any employer National Insurance and pension contributions, if they have put their employees on temporary leave (furlough) because of the coronavirus outbreak.


The scheme will be open until the end of June 2020.


There’s now updated guidance from HMRC on how to calculate your claim for your employees including a simple step-by-step guide and a calculator for you to use to check your calculations online before you submit your claim.


There’s also a useful HMRC webinar on YouTube –


Planning Permission Approved for City Region Deal Project in Kirkcaldy

Fife’s flagship Industrial Innovation Investment programme has now secured planning permission for seven new single storey business units on land to the east of Midfield Drive in Dunnikier Business Park, Kirkcaldy.



This gives the green light for work to get started on site this autumn. Construction, which will include the installation of solar panels and a new access road as well as car parking, will provide small business space to local enterprises with growth ambitions.


Email for information on the leases available for the new units.


The Fife Industrial Innovation Investment programme is part of the £1.3 billion Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, a partnership of local authorities, universities, Scottish and UK Governments to deliver a 15-year programme that will transform the regional economy.


The programme will deliver new buildings and serviced sites across Mid and South Fife.  Over the next two years, new industrial premises will be developed across four sites in Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy, Lochgelly and Dunfermline.


The programme will support the creation of 1,000 new skilled permanent jobs and almost 600 short-term construction jobs.  This will be facilitated by joint working between the region’s universities and Fife businesses and Fife Council to deliver high value jobs


Cllr Neil Crooks, Convener of Fife Council’s Kirkcaldy Area Committee said: “This is a major economic opportunity for the businesses that will be able to expand into the new units.  We know that there is strong demand in Kirkcaldy for this type of unit, so the emphasis is very much on getting these ready for tenants as quickly as possible.


“Our focus in Fife is firmly on fairer economic growth, where everyone benefits from good employment opportunities and regional investments.  The programme of investment deliver much-needed new industrial buildings in key locations in Mid and South Fife.


“This is another important step forward in delivering the ten-year programme that will encourage more businesses to locate and grow within Fife, and secure a further £30 million of investment by the private sector.”


Cllr Altany Craik, Convener of the Council’s Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning and Transportation Committee added: “This project, now on its way to becoming a reality, will be the first visible sign in Kirkcaldy of the positive changes that the City Region Deal will bring to Fife.


“The Deal focuses on growing the regional economy through collaboration and by being outward-looking, building on the region’s existing strengths in key sectors and industries.  Our Fife Industrial Innovation Investment programme will increase the supply of serviced employment land and new industrial, office and business space in Fife.”


Stay at Home #LoveFifeLater

Following the lead of VisitScotland, Welcome to Fife have produced an inspirational and emotional video to showcase our beautiful region, loved by so many. In the video people are encouraged not to stop dreaming, that we’ll create new memories once again when the time is right, but for now to stay safe and #loveFifelater.

Welcome to Fife worked closely with Fife business Granite Creative Productions to produce the video and the voiceover is former Kirkcaldy lass Blanche Anderson, now living in London.

Please share and let’s sprinkle some Fife love this Easter.

“For now we need to stay at home

All plans and celebrations on hold ​

But don’t stop dreaming of those special places, they’re in your heart ​

And when the time is right, we’ll once again create new memories ​

From our stunning coastline, rich history and iconic locations that make our home so special, we’ll be waiting to welcome you. ​

Stay safe and love Fife later”


Chancellor extends support for businesses

The Chancellor, Riski Sunak, is today (Friday 3 April) taking further action to support firms affected by the coronavirus crisis by bolstering business interruption loans for small businesses and announcing a new scheme for larger companies.


More than £90 million of loans to nearly 1,000 small and medium sized firms have been approved under the government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) since its launch last week.  And a government-backed scheme to provide financing to larger companies, being operated by the Bank of England, has also already provided almost £1.9 billion of support for firms and further £1.6 billion has been committed.


To maximise the support available, the Chancellor is extending the CBILS so that all viable small businesses affected by Covid-19, not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing, will be eligible for loans.


The government is also stopping lenders from requesting personal guarantees for loans under £250,000 and making operational changes to speed up lending approvals.  The government will continue to cover the first twelve months of interest and fees.


A new Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBIS) will be launched later this month to provide loans for larger firms.


The new Scheme will provide a government guarantee of 80% to enable banks to make loans of up to £25 million to firms with an annual turnover of between £45 million and £500 million.  Further details of this new scheme will be announced in April.


Click to read the full announcement.


An SME? Click for more information on how to apply for a loan for from the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

Scottish Government Coronavirus Business Support Fund Update

Grant support is available to help businesses deal with the impact of COVID-19.


In Fife the one-off grants – designed to help protect jobs, prevent business closures and promote economic recovered – are being administered by Fife Council on behalf of the Scottish Government.


The Council is currently processing the applications it has received and will start paying the £10k and £25k grants on 7 April.


Currently only 30% of applications received have been fully completed.  To ensure that applications are processed as quickly as possible, the council is advising businesses to ensure that their grant claim is properly completed and provides all relevant business details and required documents.


To help you complete your application,  the council has put together some useful FAQs


Two types of grant are available to ratepayers under the Coronavirus Business Support Scheme:


  • £10,000 grants – ratepaying businesses in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme of Rural Relief with a property with a rateable value of up to £18,000 are eligible to apply for this grant. You can also get this grant if you applied for Nursery Relief or Disabled Relief, Fresh Start Relief and Business Growth Accelerator but are eligible for the Small Business Bonus Scheme.


  • £25,000 grants – for retail, hospitality and leisure ratepaying businesses with property which has a rateable value of between £18,001 and £50,999 .


For more information on all the support available for Fife businesses, along with guidance and advice visit: