Coronavirus Business Support Fund

Small Business Support Grant and Retail, Hospitality, Leisure Support Grant

The Comhairle is now accepting applications for the Scottish Government’s Business Support Grants. Applications should be made by completing one of the forms below and returning it to the Comhairle.

Guidance on eligibility is included in the forms which should be returned by saving the relevant form and attaching it to an email. The form must be accompanied by a scanned or photographed bank statement along with other evidence referred to in the form or this this will delay the process. If the account is not in the name of the relevant business please make this clear on the form.

Please make sure that you complete the form fully and accurately. The Comhairle is expecting a high volume of applications and these will be dealt with on a first come basis. Any queries should be submitted to bsg@cne-siar.gov.uk

CnES Business Support Application Form - NON Ratepayer (71.5kB) (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)

CnES Business Support Application Form - Ratepayer (94.1kB) (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)

Frequently Asked Questions

As part of its response to the COVID-19 emergency, the Scottish Government is making grants available for certain businesses and has asked the Comhairle to administer the Grant Scheme on its behalf within the Outer Hebrides.

Is my business eligible for the grant?

What if I get Nursery Relief, Disabled Relief or Charitable Relief?

What if I have more than one eligible property?

I own a property but it is not in use / unoccupied at present - do I still qualify for the grant?

I run a Bed & Breakfast but pay Council tax rather than Non-domestic Rates – do I qualify for the grant?

I have self-catering property(ies) - am I eligible for a grant?

My business had not yet opened for the season when restrictions began – do I still qualify for the grant?

How do I apply for the grant?

How long do I have to apply for the grant?

The form asks for my rates reference number, where can I find this?

Do I need to include any supporting evidence with my application?

What details do you need to allow the grant payment to be made?

Do I need to sign the application form?

What other business support schemes are available?

When will I receive the grant and will I be notified payment has been made?

What if my question hasn’t been answered?

Is my business eligible for the grant?

Which business types are eligible or not for the grant – has been defined by the Scottish Government.

Small businesses

Businesses operating in an eligible premises that was in receipt of specified reliefs as at 17 March 2020, can apply for a one-off grant of £10,000 followed by £7,500 for subsequent eligible occupied properties where they are the ratepayer.

Businesses in small properties with a rateable value under £18,001 who are not eligible for the specified reliefs are eligible for the grant if the property is wholly or mainly used for retail, hospitality or leisure. The cumulative rateable value of all properties held by the ratepayer must not exceed £500,000.

Other retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with with a rateable value between £18,001 and up to and including £50,999 will be able to apply for a one-off grant of £25,000 followed by £18,750 for subsequent eligible occupied properties. Not all business types will qualify - to check eligibility please see the details on the Scottish Government’s website (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).

What if I get Nursery Relief, Disabled Relief or Charitable Relief ?

If you applied for Nursery Relief, Disabled Relief or Charitable Relief but are eligible for the Small Business Bonus Scheme you can also apply for the £10,000 grant.

What if I have more than one eligible property?

A business can apply for a £10,000 or £25,000 grant for only one property but can apply for £7,500 or £18,750 for subsequent eligible properties (please see the form for eligibility)

I own a property but it is not in use / unoccupied at present - do I still qualify for the grant?

No – unoccupied properties are not eligible for the grant.

I run a Bed & Breakfast but pay Council tax rather than Non-domestic Rates – do I qualify for the grant?

No – only properties on the Non-domestic rates register are able to apply for the grant. However, you may be able to access other forms of support – see the Business Gateway website (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).

I Have self-catering property(ies) – am I eligible for a grant?

The Comhairle is administering this scheme on behalf of the Scottish Government who have deemed that self-catering properties are eligible if the ratepayer can evidence at least 140 days occupancy in 19/20 and that the income represents a primary source of income for the ratepayer.

My business had not yet opened for the season when restrictions began – do I still qualify for the grant?

For the £10,000 grant, qualification requires occupation of the business premises as at 17 March 2020 although you do not have to have been taking guests at this time – i.e. a seasonal business is still eligible as long as they were registered for Nondomestic rates.

How do I apply for the grant?

Download the relevant CnES Business Support Application Form attached above and email it to bsg@cne-siar.gov.uk

How long do I have to apply for the grant?

Eligible ratepayers can apply for the grant payment up to 10 July 2020

The form asks for my rates reference number, where can I find this?

This is your 9 digit account reference number beginning with 4 as shown on the front of your bill in the top right section. If you are unable to access your paperwork you can also retrieve your property reference number from the Assessors website (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) – simply add your postcode in the “Search for a Rateable Value” box.

Do I need to include any supporting evidence with my application?

You do not have to provide any evidence of loss of business, BUT you do need to provide bank details and documentary evidence as described on the form to allow the grant payment to be made. 

What details do you need to allow the grant payment to be made?

It is important that bank account details are sent at the same time as the application form otherwise it may delay your payment. This should be a scanned bank statement or image (photo taken on mobile phone will do if good quality) of the nominated online account dated within 3 months of the application date. If you do not send your bank evidence it may be possible to verify your bank account if you have received payments from the Comhairle for any reason in the past.

Do I need to sign the application form?

If you are able to sign the application form and scan it, please do so before submitting your application form. If you are unable to scan, please either use an electronic signature (if you have one) or print off the page and sign it and then take a mobile phone photo of it and send it to us with your application form. If you are unable to do this – then type in your name and explain in your cover email.

What other business support schemes are available?

The Comhairle has details on other forms of support that is available to businesses and individuals from both the UK Government and the Scottish Government. This can be viewed on the Business Resilience (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) webpage.

When will I receive the grant and will I be notified payment has been made?

Grant payments have already started. Our target is to have your grant payment to you within 10 working days of your application being acknowledged. However, this will be very challenging given the volume of applications we expect to receive, the fact that our small team are following Government advice and working from home and that we are still required to do appropriate checks to comply with financial regulations. When we have authorised the grant you should receive an automated email advising you that the BACS payment is due (on that or the next day).

What if my question hasn’t been answered?

If after referring to the information on the application form and on the linked websites the Comhairle will endeavour to assist. However, please bear in mind that Comhairle is administering this scheme on behalf of government so may have to seek advice from the Scottish Government on some questions.

If you are unsure which business type your business is, you can:

  • complete the application and submit it and the Comhairle will determine when assessing whether you are eligible

Email bsg@cne-siar.gov.uk  and we will seek to answer queries.

In view of the expected demand, the Comhairle will however, prioritise processing completed application forms submitted and getting grant payments to businesses.