The Discretionary Business Fund aims to provide a £2,000 grant to local businesses that are experiencing immediate financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions and regulations but have not been able to access the Strategic Framework Business Fund or other business grant funds provided by the Scottish Government. In particular, this fund will aim to assist businesses that have been without financial support since October 2020.
The discretionary fund will provide a one-off payment of £2,000 per business.
The business must fall into one of the following 3 categories:
- businesses that supply goods or services to those who have been closed or restricted;
- businesses facing hardship as an indirect consequence of the current restrictions but have not been eligible to receive financial support through the Strategic Framework Business Fund;
- businesses who do not have business premises and are therefore ineligible for grants attached to the rates system.
Other Eligibility Includes:
- must be a small or micro enterprise employing less than 50 staff;
- must be ineligible for any scheme of support introduced since October by Scottish Government, this will also include any new schemes of support which have been or may be announced by the Scottish Government prior to the end of March 2021;
- business is not connected to a tax haven, as set out in the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No 2) Act 2020;
- must be able to present robust evidence (eg profit and loss accounts, invoices and receipts, details of contracts lost, cancelled booking diaries/work schedules, cancelled customer bookings) to show that income in the period October to December 2020 was at least 30% lower than in the equivalent period in 2019. Acceptability of this evidence will be at the discretion of the grant processing team.
- must be able to provide evidence (eg proof of cancellations/lost bookings) that loss of income was as a result of COVID-19 restrictions eg travel restrictions or supply of goods/services to businesses that have been directly required to close / modify operations.
- must have been trading as of 17 March 2020;
- must provide details and evidence of a business bank account (in the form of an uploaded bank statement) into which grant payments will be made (in the case of self-employed discretion will be applied as long as there is clear evidence of trading from the personal bank statements provided);
- business premises (where applicable) must be registered for non-domestic rates. Businesses that pay rates through their landlords rather than directly must provide evidence of this;
- business has not breached wider COVID regulations/requirements leading to enforcement action;
- open to Limited Companies (including Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations and social enterprises), Sole Traders, Trusts, Partnerships, Community Interest Companies, freelancers or the self-employed;
- non premise based businesses will be required to provide evidence to demonstrate proof of identity (e.g. passport) and address (e.g. Council tax bill, utility bill);
- businesses will be required to provide evidence of active trading in the period before restrictions came into place on 9 October 2020; and
- self-employed will be required to confirm that self-employment makes up at least 50% of their income from employment.
- This grant will be operated on a first come first served basis and the fund will close as and when the budget has been fully committed; and
- Any appeals received relating to unsuccessful applications will be reviewed by the Economic Development Manager whose decision will be final.
Please attach all evidence requested with your application, if we do not receive all the necessary evidence to progress your application this could lead to a delay which may result in your application not being successful due to the limited funds available as this fund will operate on a first come first served basis.