The Scottish Government has confirmed that the self-employed and small businesses will have access to a further £220 million worth of additional grants during the coronavirus pandemic.
This second wave of funding includes £100 million to protect self-employed individuals and the smallest businesses. It also includes a further £120 million to expand the Small Business Grant scheme to ensure that, as well as a 100% grant on the first property, small business rate payers can access a 75% grant on all subsequent properties.
The additional funds will be available via local authorities and enterprise agencies to help the newly self-employed, and businesses who are not eligible for other Scottish Government or UK Government schemes.
Applications from the self-employed for the £100 million fund opened on 30th April, and applications for the new arrangements for the Small Business Grant are due to go live on 5th May.
The £100 million fund to support the self-employed and small businsses will be split into three separate funds:
• £34 million Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund, managed by Local Authorities, this 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 not receiving business rates relief
• £45 million Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund, managed by the Enterprise Agencies for vulnerable small businesses who are vital to the local or national economic foundations of Scotland
To apply for these funds visit the www.FindBusinessSupport.gov.scot website.
Economy Secretary Fiona 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.
“Our hospitality, tourism and creative sectors have been decimated by this crisis and previously profitable businesses have seen demand dry up overnight.
“As well as dealing with this immediate crisis, we must look to the future. 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, which is why £45 million is being allocated to those firms.
Finance Secretary Kate Forbes, who delivered her first draft Budget on 6th February, said: “With UK Government support not being available until June, we are going further to secure the future economic viability of Scottish firms and applications will be open by the end of the month.
“While many businesses are in difficulty, some are doing better than others or can pull through from their own resources.
“Just as we ask the public only to buy what they need in the supermarkets, we are asking businesses who do not need this vital help to refrain from claiming additional support unless absolutely necessary so we can direct as much help as possible to those who need it most.”
The increased grants from the Scottish Parliament follows the Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcement on 15th April, that nearly £600 million would be made available to help public services in Scotland respond to the challenge of COVID-19.