Business Resilience

Covid-19 Scottish Business Support Summary

Strategic Framework Business Fund

The Strategic Framework Business Fund provides grants of £2,000 or £3,000 (depending on rateable value) to businesses registered for Non Domestic Rates that have been required by law to close under Level 4 restrictions.  The grants will be payable every four weeks in arrears for the duration measures are in place and will be backdated to 28 December 2020. 

The full list of eligible businesses can be found on the Scottish Government Strategic Framework Business Fund (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) webpage.

Please ensure your business is eligible before submitting an application. 

A further top-up grant (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) will also be available to businesses in retail, leisure and hospitality.  B&Bs and self-catering properties will not receive this additional payment as further support may be made available to them via other schemes currently under development by the Scottish Government.

To be eligible for the top-up grant, you must submit your SFBF application by 22 February 2021.

For specific queries, please contact us by emailing businessgateway@cne-siar.gov.uk.

To apply please complete the Strategic Framework Business Fund Application Form.

Local Business Discretionary Fund (LBDF)

The Local Business Discretionary Fund (LBDF) aims to provide grant support to local businesses experiencing immediate financial challenges because of the COVID-19 restrictions/regulations but are unable to access the Strategic Framework Business Fund or other Scottish Government COVID-19 business grant schemes. The LDBF aims to assist local businesses that have been without COVID-19 financial support since October 2020. The budget is limited and applications will be considered on a first come first served basis (applications must be complete and all supporting documentation submitted before they will be considered).

The discretionary fund will provide a one-off payment per business, as follows:

  • £4,000 for home-based business; or
  • £6,000 for businesses that lease or own business premises.

The business must fall into one of the following three categories:

  • a supplier of goods or services to businesses that have been closed or restricted;
  • face hardship as an indirect consequence of the current restrictions but have not been eligible to receive financial support through the Strategic Framework Business Fund or recent or proposed Scottish Government funds;
  • do not have business premises and are therefore ineligible for grants attached to the rates system.

Other eligibility criteria include:

  • must be based in the Western Isles and be a small or micro enterprise employing fewer than 50 staff;
  • must be ineligible for any Scottish Government support scheme introduced since October 2020, other than SEISS.  This will include any new support schemes which may be announced by Scottish Government prior to the end of March 2021;
  • must not be connected to a ‘tax haven’, as set out in the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No 2) Act 2020;
  • businesses in administration, insolvent - or where a striking-off notice has been made - will not be eligible for financial support through this fund;
  • income in the period October 2020 to January 2021 was at least 30% lower than the equivalent period in 2019;
  • must have been trading prior to restrictions changing from Tier 1 to Tier 3 in the Western Isles (26/12/2020);
  • must provide details and evidence of a bank account that clearly demonstrates business activity (i.e. in the form of an uploaded bank statement) to which grant payments will be made;
  • business premises, where applicable, must be registered for non-domestic rates;
  • a business that 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 premises-based businesses will be required to provide evidence to demonstrate proof-of-identity (e.g. passport, driving licence etc.) and address (e.g. Council Tax bill, utility bill etc.);
  • businesses will be required to provide evidence of active trading in the period before restrictions came into place, i.e. on 9 October 2020; and
  • the self-employed will be required to confirm that self-employment makes up at least 50% of their income from employment. 

Additional Information:

  • This grant will be operated on a first-come, first-served basis. The scheme is expected to be open for 4 weeks and will close for new applications on Monday 15th March or earlier if the budget is fully committed.
  • Appeals received relating to unsuccessful applications will be reviewed by the Head of Economic Development & Planning, whose decision will be final; and
  • The LDBF will be promoted through the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar website, Business Gateway social media channels and via other relevant partner/stakeholder organisations.          

To apply please complete the Local Business Discretionary Fund Application Form.   

Support for Businesses

The UK and Scottish Governments have announced a package of support to assist businesses.  You can find out more at COVID-19 UK Govt Support for Business (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) and Find Business Support Scotland (Opens in a new window or downloads a file). A summary of this support is outlined in the document linked below.

Business Gateway is being responsive and reactive to the needs and challenges Scottish businesses face due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The following links provide a list of free business resources and links to funding information that may be useful to you at this difficult time:

Business Gateway Resources (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)

Support Schemes, Eligibility and Access Details (1.2MB) (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) 

Key Website Pages Specific to Covid-19 Business Support