Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Logo (with tagline Ag Obair Còmhla Airson nan Eilean)
Lews Castle

Business Loan

Objectives and Assistance

Provision of loans to encourage business start-up and enable business and community development in the Outer Hebrides.

Assist new and growing businesses and income-generating community enterprises to develop projects which enhance their opportunities for long-term sustainability and whose activities will increase economic activity and employment.

Loans are available towards general start-up costs, new/used plant and equipment, working capital, marketing, e-commerce enablement and for upgrading tourist accommodation.

Loan Terms

  • Funding: Up to £50,000
  • Repayment Period: Up to 7 years
  • Interest: 4% fixed (unsecured) for loans up to £10,000 and 4% fixed (secured) 6% fixed (unsecured)- for loans above £10,000
  • Security: Unsecured
  • Capital Repayment Holiday: Discretionary – up to 6 months
  • Level of Funding: Up to 50% of costs

Eligibility and Conditions

  • Priority will be given to those who are most disadvantaged (unable to source funding elsewhere).
  • Priority will be given to projects that expect to have the most impact in the local community, including job creation.
  • Priority will be given to projects expected to achieve any of the following outcomes: introduce new business activity, improve product quality, new market development, improved productivity, improved service delivery, new or improved manufacturing/ production processes and import substitution.
  • Each application will be considered on its own merits. However, projects in areas which are adequately served by similar existing businesses are unlikely to meet the eligibility criteria.
  • Applicants and businesses must be based in the Outer Hebrides, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
  • Funding must only be spent on the items agreed as per your approved application.
  • Business Gateway workshop attendance (where relevant) will be a condition of all funding approved.
  • All projects must consider the potential environmental impact and take appropriate action to ensure that activity is carried out in a sustainable manner.
  • Only one loan can be applied for at a time, with a maximum of two Comhairle loans running concurrently.
  • Loan funding is available only to applicants unable to raise the total capital required from other commercial, private or public-sector sources.
  • Applicants may be sole-traders, partnerships, limited companies, co-operative groups, community enterprises or other legitimate trading entities.
  • Successful applicants will be required to provide regular progress reports and engage with their adviser on an ongoing basis.

A business plan, financial projections (3-year) and up to date accounts (existing businesses only) must be submitted along with any other supporting information considered necessary.

In addition, applicants will be required to complete an online application form, provide copies of bank statements, a credit check and any other supplementary information considered necessary to assess their application fully.

Scheme terms and conditions apply and may change from time to time.

For further information, please contact us on