Drew Hendry MP

Covid 19 information

The Covid 19 pandemic is causing unprecedented challenges to business, families and to our public services. It is a deeply worrying time for all. If you have an urgent question that cannot be answered using the information on this page, please get in touch with me and I will do my best to find the information you need.  

Send me a message using the link below or call my office on 01463 611 024. We are dealing with extremely high volumes of enquiries and I thank you in advance for your patience, should I not be able to get back to you as early as you and I would like.

Protect our NHS workers and your family – STAY AT HOME – except for these limited reasons: -To shop for basic necessities -For one form of exercise a day -For medical/care needs, or to help a vulnerable person -To travel to and from work but only if it is a necessity. LIVES REALLY DO DEPEND ON IT. 

If you are in the high risk category for Covid 19, please read the advice below on shielding. 

If your business can help support our NHS or if you can support our communities with PPE, please get in touch. 

advice For Businesses

Latest Update For Business 30/03/20

Covid 19 Business Grants are available to most businesses to help support them during these difficult times. Small businesses in receipt of the small business bonus scheme or rural relief, as well as hospitality, leisure and retail business can benefit.

Two types of grant are now available to ratepayers:

• a one-off £10,000 grant to ratepayers of small businesses

• a one-off grant of £25,000 available to retail, hospitality and leisure business ratepayers with a rateable value between £18,001 and £50,999

These grants will be administered by the Highland Council and you can now access their application process on the link below. The Chancellor has also announced several measures to help businesses through these difficult times.  Details of the support available can be found on the Business Support Hub below. 

Other Useful Links For Businesses

advice For Self Employed

Latest Update For Self Employed 30/03/20

Self-employment Income Support Scheme for those affected by Covid 19.

The Chancellor has announced a taxable grant worth 80% of average monthly profits over the last 3 years. 

·         Those with shorter trading histories will have their monthly payment calculated from that history; i.e. those who have submitted two tax returns will have an average taken for those two years.

·         Those who have started trading in the current 2019/2020 tax year are not eligible for the scheme.

·         The grant will be capped at £2,500 per month.

·         The scheme will be open for at least three months.

·         Individuals will be able to claim the grant whilst trading.

·         The scheme is open to anyone with trading profits of up to £50,000.

·         The scheme is only available to those who make the majority of their income from self-employment.

·         Only those who are already in self-employment, who have a tax return for the tax year 2018/2019, will be able to apply.

·         Those eligible will be contacted by HMRC directly and asked to fill in a form online.

·         Anyone who missed the January 2020 filing deadline for their tax return has an additional 4 weeks from today (26 March) to submit it in order to qualify for the scheme.

I know this support will be very welcome to those who will benefit from the scheme and I hope you are one of them. Disappointingly, there will be others who will not be eligible for this support because of the rigid criteria that has been set.

It is also of great concern that the support is delayed until June. For most people affected, waiting this length of time is just not feasible or realistic. This evening I have written to the Chancellor to ask for this help quicker.

To help tide people over, the UK Government is recommending the self-employed apply for Universal Credit until June.

Universal Credit has a standard 5-week delay, but you can ask for an advance payment if needed – this needs to be paid back when you receive your money.  I know this money is not enough – Universal Credit does not and never has provided enough support for families – especially not at this difficult time – but it will help you out over the weeks ahead.

Along with my colleagues, I will continue to call for more financial help from the Chancellor.

I also queried what other support is available and have been advised that the self-employed may also qualify for some of the other measures detailed below:

·         Deferral of Self Assessment income tax payments due in July 2020 and VAT payments (20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020)

·         Increased amounts of Universal Credit

·         Business Interruption Loan Scheme

·         Directors of their own company paid through PAYE may be able to get support using the Job Retention Scheme

I hope this information is of some help, as you navigate this extremely difficult time and that you meet the criteria for this scheme as outlined in the notes above.

As ever, if you live in the Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey constituency and think there is anything I can help with regarding your specific situation or if you will not be eligible, please get back in touch and I will do what I can to help.  

Financial Support for Families

Latest Update On Welfare Support

The Scottish Government announced £350 million new Welfare and emergency funding to help support families and communities in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

– £70 million for a food fund to help older people and families who might not be able to rely on free school meals.

– £50 million for a well-being fund to help charities, homeless people and those in fuel poverty.

– £40 million for community fund to help fast-growing groups springing up to support people in need.

– £50 million to meet demand for council tax reduction and social security.

– £20 million for charity finances

Much of this funding with be made available through community projects, the third sector and the Highland Council. I will update this page as and when more information is available.

Support for Families

Advice & Support Networks

Life as we know it has changed over the past few weeks and we don’t know how long it will be before family life gets back to normal. Hopefully the information below will give you some of the resources you need over the coming weeks and months. If not, please get in touch and I will do what I can to help. 

Help In Your Community

Help in Your Community

There are several community groups and individuals offering to help people who are having to self-isolate. I also know many of you are looking out for neighbours and doing what you can to help – keep up this good work and remember to social distance as much as possible. If you are struggling to find the help you need getting essential items, and cannot find support on this page, please do get in touch. 

Food & Supplies

Local Deliveries & Supermarket Updates

Local shops and businesses offering delivery services

The Health Shop, Inverness are still open and are offering free delivery of orders in the Inverness area, with a postal service available for further afield.

The STOREHOUSE are offering a home delivery service. Orders can be made online or by calling 01349 830038.

Swansons Food Wholesalers are offering fixed price mixed boxes starting from £30.

Inverness Taxis have teamed up with Williamson Food to offer delivery of food packs.

Ancarraig Lodges are offering free delivery within a 10 mile range of Inverness. Their food hampers start at £35.

Loch Ness Country House Hotel are offering a household essentials hamper at £25 and a food hamper at £95. Collection available from their car park or delivery at £5.

Inverness Auction Centre Limited are offering fresh food packs from £25. Collection and delivery available.

Graham’s Dairys Nairn are offering doorstep delivery of their products.

Ashers Bakery are offering home deliveries.

Pro Fish Services Ltd are offering home delivery on their pack