COVID-19 Business Hardship Fund

Before you apply

As part of its response to COVID-19, the Scottish Government is making grants available to businesses closed or impacted due to the COVID-19 Brake Restrictions which came into effect on 9 October.

These new and temporary business support funds will be administered by The Highland Council, providing one-off grants to businesses very directly impacted by the restrictions implemented on 9 October.

As part of its Coronavirus Restrictions Fund, the Scottish Government also has another grant scheme called the Business Closure Fund. This grant scheme is only open to businesses which are located in the Ayrshire & Arran; Forth Valley; Greater Glasgow & Clyde; Lanarkshire and Lothian health board areas that are required by law to close under the COVID-19 brake restrictions. Highland based businesses are therefore not eligible to apply for this grant.

Does my business qualify?

Eligibility for this grant is defined by the Scottish Government. The following businesses qualify:

  • Hospitality businesses and some gyms, required by these new regulations to close or operate in a restricted way.
  • Producers/wholesale businesses based in Scotland supplying primarily short-life goods or produce to hospitality businesses required by the regulations to close or operate in a restricted way and able to evidence a minimum 25% reduction in turnover during the brake period.

Hospitality Businesses

The Scottish Government is making this grant available only to certain hospitality businesses. The grant is available only for food and drink premises that are serving food and drink to non-residents and who have been obliged to change their working practices.

Other hospitality businesses such as Guest Houses, Bed & Breakfast, hostels and self-catering are still allowed to accept guests and can provide catering for them where this is part of their normal business offer. As such the Scottish Government have excluded these sectors from this grant scheme.

For clarity, retail and businesses that provide takeaway food as the core and established basis of their operations are not eligible for these hardship funds.

Premises with a Rateable Value of up to and including £51,000 will receive a grant of £1,440.

Premises with a Rateable Value of £51,001 and above will receive a grant of £2,155.

An upper limit of £14,000 applies to businesses operating multiple premises. A separate application is required for each qualifying premises.

For businesses that have multiple premises across different local authority areas, you should apply to the local authority in which your main premise, or office is headquartered in.

Who's eligible?

To be eligible for this support you must meet the following criteria.

  • Your business must have been open and trading before 9 October 2020.
  • You must have a business bank account. This is the account your grant will be paid into if your application is successful.
  • Your business premises must be registered for Non-Domestic rates prior to 9 October 2020. To establish if your business is eligible or not, please refer to the Scottish Government's Help for non-domestic rate payers in Scotland during Coronavirus (COVID-19) or the Scottish Assessor.
  • Businesses that pay rates through their landlords rather than directly to a Council are eligible to apply (evidence to be provided through copy of lease agreement).
  • Businesses which have breached wider COVID regulations/requirements prior to local restrictions are not eligible to apply.
  • Businesses with connections to tax havens, as set out in the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Act 2020, are not eligible to apply.
  • Limited Companies, Sole Traders, Trusts and Partnerships can apply provided they meet the other criteria.

For clarity, retail and businesses that provide takeaway food as the core and established basis of their operations are not eligible for these hardship funds.

If you do not qualify please see our Support for business page.

Closing Date

The closing date for applications is 5pm on Tuesday 3 November 2020.

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