Strategic Framework Business Fund

Before you apply

In recognition of the significant financial hardships and risks for businesses as a result of the Coronavirus protective measures, the Scottish Government is making available a range of grants to businesses. The Council has been asked to deliver a number of these grant schemes on behalf of the Scottish Government – one of which is the Strategic Framework Business Fund.

The Strategic Framework Business Fund has two elements to it. One is a Temporary Closure Grant for when a business must close by regulation, while the other is a Business Restrictions Grant for when the business must operate in a restricted way as a result of the Coronavirus protective measures.

During the period 2 November 2020 to 28 December 2020, only Nightclubs in Highland were eligible for a Temporary Closure Grant, and only licensed hospitality businesses and a small number of premises subject to a specific cap on the number of people who can attend an event, were eligible for the Business Restriction Grant.

On 26 December 2020, Highland like all parts of mainland Scotland moved into Level 4. Until such time as the Level 4 protection levels are removed, eligible businesses will be able to apply for a Temporary Closure Grant. No businesses will be eligible for a Business Restriction Grant during this period. Once protection levels drop and Highland moves to a lower level, then a mix of Temporary Closure and Business Restriction grants will be available depending on whether the business is required to remain closed or whether it can operate in a restricted way.

Eligible businesses who have already applied for and have secured a Business Restriction Grant (for period 2 November to 26 December 2020) do not need to now apply for a Temporary Closure Grant or any future Business Restriction Grant.

Likewise, once a business applies for and is awarded a Temporary Closure Grant they will not then need to make a fresh application for any future Business Restriction Grant once the protection levels are eased. The Council will automatically assess eligibility and make payments every four weeks in arrears.

Businesses who were eligible for a Business Restriction Grant during the period 2 November 2020 to 26 December 2020 but who have not yet applied for the grant, do not need to make a separate application. They are asked to complete a Strategic Framework Business Fund application form and the Council will automatically assess and make a grant payment if the business is eligible.

The Business Restriction Grant operates as a two-Leveled scheme, with payments of £1,400 for premises which have a Rateable Value (RV) of up to and including £51,000 and a grant of £2,100 for those businesses with a RV of £51,001 and above.

The Temporary Closure Grant also operates as a two-Leveled scheme, with a grant of £2,000 for premises which have a Rateable Value (RV) of up to and including £51,000 and a grant of £3,000 for those businesses with a RV of £51,001 and above.

Both grants are payable every four weeks, in arrears, for the duration protective measures are in place.

Does my business qualify?

The businesses that are eligible for grant support are set out in the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions and Requirements) (Local Levels) (Scotland) Regulations 2020

As Highland is currently in a Level 4 area the following Highland businesses are eligible for a Temporary Closure Grant:

Accommodation

  • Hotels, B&Bs, Self-catering, Caravan and Camp Sites

Hospitality

  • Restaurants, cafes, pubs, bars, social clubs

Close contact services

  • Hairdressers, Barbers, Beauticians, Tailors

Sports & Exercise

  • Indoor gyms, swimming pools, dance studios, exercise class/yoga studios.

Leisure and Entertainment

  • Cinemas, Arcades, Soft play, Funfairs, Indoor bowling, Theatres, comedy clubs, sports stadiums, conference or exhibition centres, Snooker/pool halls, Music venues, Casinos, Bingo halls, Nightclubs.

Visitor Attractions

Retail

  • Non-essential retail

It is recognised that a number of businesses will have for a variety of reasons taken the decision to temporarily cease trading at this time. To be eligible for this Scottish Government Temporary Closure Grant, only those businesses that are required by law to close are eligible for grant.

The Scottish Government have advised that the following business are allowed to trade and therefore are not eligible for grant:

  • Food retailers, including food markets, supermarkets, convenience stores and corner shops; off licenses and licensed shops selling alcohol (including breweries);
  • pharmacies (including non-dispensing pharmacies) and chemists;
  • newsagents;
  • homeware, building supplies and hardware stores;
  • petrol stations, car repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, taxi or vehicle hire businesses
  • banks, building societies, credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs, cash points and undertakings which by way of business operate a currency exchange office, transmit money (or any representation of money) by any means or cash cheques which are made payable to customers;
  • post offices;
  • funeral directors;
  • laundrettes and dry cleaners;
  • dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody services, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health services, including services relating to mental health;
  • veterinary surgeons and pet shops; agricultural supplies shops and agricultural markets; storage and distribution facilities, including delivery drop off or collection points, where the facilities are in the premises of a business included in this section; 
  • car parks;
  • public toilets, livestock markets or auctions;
  • outdoor markets, and outdoor car lots

Who's eligible?

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

  • Your business was trading on Monday 2 November 2020.
  • You must have a dedicated bank account for your business. It is preferable that this is a formal Business Bank Account but it is acceptable to have a normal bank account that is used mainly for your business that shows income and outgoings and is in your/or the business name.
    • 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 2 November 2020. To establish if your business is eligible or not, please refer to the Scottish Government's Help for non-domestic ratepayers 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.
  • Your business is based within the Highland Council area

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

Closing Date

At the current time the Scottish Government have advised that applications can be made up to 31 March 2021. 

Given the uncertainty associated with the pandemic and the fact that Highland will move down/up levels within Scotland's Strategic Framework, and that grants may be made every four weeks, the Council urges eligible businesses to apply as soon as possible.

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