Scottish Government Announces COVID-19 Business Hardship Funds

Scottish Government Announces COVID-19 Business Hardship Funds

Grants are soon to be provided through three dedicated funds, totalling £100 million, for businesses across Scotland that are suffering the impacts of the coronavirus crisis.

Scotland’s Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop has confirmed that grant funding for the newly self-employed who are suffering hardship because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and SMEs in distress, will be available in the coming days.

A £100 million funding pot has been earmarked, which will be broken into three separate funds as follows:

£34 million Newly Self-employed Hardship Fund, managed by local authorities, will be allocated to the newly self-employed facing hardship through £2,000 grants.

£20 million Creative, Tourism & Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund, managed by the Enterprise Agencies in partnership with Creative Scotland and VisitScotland, for creative, tourism and hospitality companies with up to 50 staff, not in receipt of business rates relief. Rapid-access £3,000 hardship grants or larger grants up to £25,000 will be available where it can be demonstrated support is needed.

£45 million Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund, managed by the Enterprise Agencies, for vulnerable SME firms that are deemed vital to the local or national economic foundations of Scotland. Support levels will depend on the specific need of the enterprise and will be developed by the relevant Enterprise Agency with wraparound business advice and support.

Ms Hyslop said:

‘This funding is intended to relieve the hardship of individuals and smaller firms that are ineligible for support from the UK Government or are not in receipt yet of the funds they need to survive.

‘As well as dealing with this immediate crisis … we must ensure that those businesses with a part to play in strengthening resilience in Scotland’s economy survive this crisis and thrive in future.’

The expectation is that grants will be open for applications by the end of April, and recipients will receive funds in early May.