The First Minister has announced further details of the £40M support fund package that the Scottish Government has earmarked to support employees and businesses impacted by the new circuit breaker restrictions and the eligibility criteria.
The business support funds will be administered by Local Authorities, providing one-off grants to businesses directly impacted by the restrictions implemented on 9th October 2020.
A COVID-19 Restrictions Fund will be restricted to hospitality and other businesses required to close by the circuit breaker restrictions regulations. It operates as a two-tiered scheme, with a smaller grant of £2,000 for businesses with a Rateable Value (RV) of under £51,000 and a larger grant of £3,000 for those businesses with a RV over £51,000.
At the same time, Local Authorities will invite applications for a discretionary business hardship fund, with payments of up to £1,500 to support some businesses that remain open but are directly impacted by the restrictions, including those in the direct supply chains of firms that must close.
To be eligible for this support you must meet the following criteria:-
For the business closure fund you must be a hospitality or other business required by law to close under these new restrictions.
For the discretionary business hardship fund you must be:-
- a hospitality business and some gyms, required by the regulations to operate in a restricted way
- a producer/wholesale business based in Scotland supplying primarily short-life goods or produce to hospitality businesses required by the regulations to close or operate in a restricted way and able to evidence a 25% reduction in turnover during the circuit breaker period.
If your business operates multiple premises you can apply for grants for each premise, applying only once to the local authority in which your business is headquartered. The maximum any one business can receive will be restricted, regardless of the number of premises: the upper limit for the business closure fund is £15,000; the upper limit for business hardship fund is £10,000.
Your businesses must have been open and trading before 9th October.
You must have a business bank account. This is the account your grant will be paid into if your application is successful.
Your business premises must be registered for Non-Domestic rates. Businesses that pay rates through their landlords rather than directly to a Council are eligible to apply (evidence to be provided through copy of lease agreement).
Businesses which have breached wider COVID regulations/requirements prior to local restrictions are not eligible to apply.
Applications are welcome from Limited Companies, Sole Traders, Trusts and Partnerships provided they meet the other criteria.
Retail and businesses that provide takeaway food as the core and established basis of their operations are not eligible for these closure or hardship funds.
HOW TO APPLY
The Scottish Government is working with local authorities to prepare and finalise all the administrative arrangements required to ensure efficient and effective application, processing, payment and appeal arrangements – and access to the information and advice you may need.
Local authority websites will be updated at 9.00 am on Tuesday 20th October, allowing businesses to complete applications.
Full details can be seen here.