Statement from Chief Executive, Chris Martin

Posted: 24 March 2020, in News

Dear social enterprise friends,

We are in unprecedented times. When putting this statement together I was minded that government advice is evolving on a daily basis, so please check regular updates for the most recent advice. We’ve created a new resources page regarding financial and other support for members that we will continue to keep updated.

Social Enterprise Scotland remains open for business. We have suspended all of our ‘project’ work and have redeployed staff to contingency planning on your behalf.  The team have, with partners, been a conduit for government information and a sector voice.

We are delighted to announce that applications to the new £20M Third Sector Resilience Fund will be available tomorrow on the SCVO hub!

Our communications team are putting out as much practical advice as possible while trying not to replicate the information that is currently out there. We have been gathering intelligence from you, our members, about how COVID-19 is affecting your enterprises and ultimately the impact on beneficiaries.

We are talking to funders and investors and with your help we’re clearly articulating sector needs and priorities to government and support agencies. If you have been affected by COVID-19 and want to tell us about the impact on your business please email:

The other big news for organisations is the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which allows employers to access support to pay part of your employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.  The caveat is that employers must furlough staff to receive 80% of their wages which makes a very tough decision for social enterprises who are working for their beneficiaries. However, we are lobbying government on your behalf to ensure third sector organisations will be able to access CJRS while they are still offering vital services to the frontline.

As we move from fire-fighting to consolidation (sooner rather than later we hope), we anticipate our sector being at the heart of rebuilding the economy. We will ensure we facilitate member conversations, mutual help and peer support. If you have any ideas on how your business can reciprocally support another member organisation please email Kate is compiling a resource that members can use to mutually support one other.

Please remember our staff are now working from home – please get in contact with us by email or mobile number (no landlines), see all contact details on our website.  

We can’t pretend to know all of the circumstances of our members or the types of decisions you are facing. Our aim is to create a sense of community, clearly understand sector needs and priorities and get the right support in place. Please reach out if we can be of any additional support and we look forward to getting through this together and being a stronger, more resilient sector.

With very best wishes,