Coronavirus Business Support

Support and information for businesses during the Coronavirus crisis can be found via the following links:

Creative Freelancers Hardship Fund [OPEN, Closes 2pm 22nd March]

Scotland's Tour Guides Fund - [OPEN, Closes 5pm 10th March]

This fund will be open to businesses that are engaged in eligible ‘tour guiding’ activities as set out within the guidance document.

Regional Food Fund - [OPEN, closes 15th March at 5pm]

The Regional Food Fund offers grants of up to £5,000 to support projects and initiatives that promote the development of food and drink across Scotland. The funding is aligned to the Food Tourism Scotland Action Plan and is part of the Scotland Food & Drink Partnership’s Recovery Plan, supported by Scottish Government. More information here.

The fund is specifically aimed at collaborative projects that:

  • Contribute to the food and drink sector’s recovery from Covid-19
  • Contribute to the promotion and sales of regional produce
  • Develop food tourism
  • Benefit a region or community, not just one business
  • Can be delivered by 31 December 2021


Events Industry Support Fund 2 - [CLOSED 26th February at 5pm]

The Fund is open to new applicants who were ineligible to apply to the Events Industry Support Fund launched in August 2020. More information here.


Scotland Inbound Tour Operators - COVID-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund [Opens 12pm 25th February until 5pm 4th March 2021]

This funding strand applies to businesses who operate in Scotland as inbound tour operators and designation management companies, promoting and selling packaged products (Scotland holidays) to international markets.

Guidance Document available here


Scotland Day Tour Operators - COVID-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund [OPEN, Closes 5pm 11th March 2021]

This funding strand applies to businesses that operate day tours operating in Scotland who promote and sell day tour excursions to domestic and international markets.

Guidance document available here


Scottish Country Sports Tourism Restart Fund [CLOSED 5pm 3rd March]

Support for Bed and Breakfasts Paying Council Tax Grant [No application necessary. Local Authority will contact eligible businesses]

Support for freelancers and the events sector [CLOSED 5pm 26 February 2021.]

Hostel COVID-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund [CLOSED 12pm 2nd March 2021]

The fund is open to proprietors of hostel businesses. They may be a sole trader, a partnership, a company limited by shares or by guarantee, a registered charity, a Scottish limited partnership or any other legal entity recognised under Scots Law.  

Click here for Guidance Document 


Seafood Producers Resilience Fund [CLOSED 26th February]

The Seafood Producers Resilience Fund will provide support to eligible shellfish catchers and eligible shellfish and trout aquaculture undertakings. These businesses have lost access to domestic and international food markets as a result of COVID-19, and the difficult trading conditions that have resulted from the end of the transition period following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.


Temporary Restrictions Fund for Childcare Providers [CLOSED 1st March]

The Temporary Restrictions Fund will provide support to childcare services that are currently only permitted to open to look after vulnerable children or those of key workers.

The fund will help offset the reduction in income resulting from operating below capacity and ensure these services can remain open. Grant amounts will vary according to the number of Care Inspectorate registered places in each childcare setting.

The fund is administered by local authorities.

Grants are available to childcare providers registered with the Care Inspectorate as being either:

  • a "day care of children" and a "private" or "voluntary or not for profit" service; or
  • a "childminding service" and currently caring for 12 or more children

Marine and Outdoor Tourism Restart Fund [CLOSED]

Due to the complexity and breadth of businesses within the sector, a two-strand approach to grant funding is necessary to meet the needs of the sector. Businesses may only apply to one strand. The two strands are:

  1. Marine and boating tourism operators
  2. Outdoor wildlife, adventure and activity sector tourism businesses


Scottish Child Payment Fund [OPEN]

This is a new payment for families on certain benefits or tax credits to help towards the costs of looking after a child. It’s £40 paid every four weeks for each child under six. Read the guidance document here.


Visitor Attractions Support Fund [CLOSED 5pm 18 February 2021]

The £10 million fund is being delivered by VisitScotland on behalf of Scottish Government and has been developed with input from the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions (ASVA).


More funding for seafood sector - A new £7.75 million funding package will offer support to fishermen, seafood businesses and ports and harbours threatened by the ongoing effects of coronavirus (COVID-19) and EU Exit


Museums and Galleries Scotland Recovery and Resilience Fund [Expressions of interest to be received by midday 19th February]

In a letter from Cabinet

Secretary for Finance Kate Forbes, the Scottish Government have confirmed that the following funds will be live in January 2021. Read the full letter here

  • Mobile Close Contact Services Support Fund including driving instructors and hairdressers
  • Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund
  • Outdoor Tourism Sector Recommissioning Fund
  • Travel Agents Fund
  • Wedding Sector Support Fund
  • Events Industry Support Fund
  • Grassroots Music Venue Stabilisation Fund
  • Brewer Support Fund
  • Indoor Football Centres Fund

In addition, the below funds are due to go live in February 2021:

  • Tour Operators Fund
  • Visitor Attractions Fund
  • Ski Centre Support Fund
  • Visitor Accommodation Hostels Fund
  • Large (7 or more guests) Self-Catering Grant
  • Exclusive Use Grant Self-Catering

Wedding Sector Support Fund [CLOSED]

In recognition of the ongoing challenges faced by the sector, a further £10 million has been added to the £15 million announced in December. Launching on 28 January, the fund will provide one-off grants of up to £25,000 for eligible businesses in the sector impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, including wedding venues, photographers, caterers and suppliers.

The fund will be managed regionally by Scotland’s three enterprise agencies - South of Scotland Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Businesses must be in one of the following sectors;

  • Venues
  • Videographers
  • Photographers
  • Marquee Hire (includes tipi)
  • Wedding Attire
  • Florists & Event Stylists
  • Caterers
  • Cakes
  • Transport (not including taxis)
  • Event Supplies (Cater hire, decorative items)
  • Hairdressers & Make-up Artists (Non-mobile)
  • Entertainment (Band, DJ, Piper, String Quartet)
  • Jewellery Designers/Makers/Sellers
  • Wedding Exhibitions/Events
  • Wedding Publications or Listing Sites
  • Celebrants
  • Wedding Stationery
  • Other Specialist Niche Suppliers (Photo Booth, Event nannies, event planners etc)


Grassroots Music Venues Stabilisation Fund [APPLICATIONS LIVE 27 JANUARY]

Second round of the Grassroots Music Venues Stabilisation Fund and is intended to prevent music venues from closing permanently before end June 2021.  The fund is for applications of between £10k and £70k.

It is open to 2 groups:

  • Those grassroots music venues that received funding in the first round
  • Other grassroots music venues (i.e. those playing mainly original material and developing new talent), that did not receive funding in the first round


Coronavirus (Covid-19): Taxi and Private Hire Driver Support Fund [LIVE]

One-off grant payments of £1,500.  This support is separate from and in addition to any other funding received from the Scottish or UK Government, for example the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme and the COVID-19 Public Transport Mitigation Fund.

Eligible if you are a taxi or private hire driver and have been licensed from 9 October 2020 to at least 31 January 2021. This does not include drivers whose licenses were suspended on or before 31 December 2020 and that remains current and valid.

You do not need to apply – your local authority will get in touch with you by letter, email or other communication method from week commencing 18 January.

Update to taxi grant criteria

  • Taxi and private hire drivers who have received state benefits at any time since March last year will now be eligible for a £1,500 business support grant as long as they meet the remaining criteria.
  • Business Minister Jamie Hepburn confirmed that the change would come into effect immediately to ensure that drivers on the lowest incomes can access support.

Extending support for hospitality, retail and leisure  [LIVE] 

A significant top-up to the grant support available for hospitality, retail and leisure businesses across Scotland closed by level 4 restrictions will be paid following an announcement by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes (11 Jan).

In addition to the grants businesses receive through the Strategic Business Framework Fund, eligible businesses will also get a one off grant of:

  • £25,000 for larger hospitality businesses on top of the 4-weekly £3,000
  • £6,000 for smaller hospitality businesses on top of the 4-weekly £2,000
  • £9,000 for larger retail and leisure businesses on top of the 4-weekly £3,000
  • £6,000 for smaller retail and leisure businesses on top of the 4-weekly £2,000

In most cases, eligible businesses that have already applied for the 4-weekly payment from the Strategic Framework Business Fund will get an automatic top-up.  For the majority, this top-up will be combined with the next tranche of payment for the Strategic Framework Business Fund due to go to businesses on 25 January.

Businesses that haven’t yet applied for either of these funds should submit an application as soon as possible through their local authority website. Applications are now open.

£185m business support [launching January 2021] 

The Finance Secretary Kate Forbes MSP announced an additional £185m business support package to take effect from January.

  • developing grant schemes for hospitality, for the events sector, live music and cultural venues, for the arts, indoor football centres and for the food and drink sector, including £1.8 million for brewers.
  • £1.5 million to travelling show people ineligible for other support
  • further support of £60 million will be provided to the tourism sector, details of which will be developed in consultation with the industry.
  • £15 million for the wedding sector and its supply chain, including photographers
  • one-off grants totalling £15 million for mobile close contact services, such as hairdressers
  • a £19 million fund and one-off grants for taxi drivers
  • £5 million for travel agents
  • almost £6 million for coach companies and tour operators
  • £1.5 million for visitor attractions

COVID19 – Strategic Framework Business Fund

Following the move into Level 4 restrictions, please see below a list of business sectors which are now eligible to apply for the Strategic Framework Business Fund along with application links to local authority websites.

Temporary closure grant - £2,000 or £3,000 (depending on rateable value) if your business is required to close by law

Business restrictions grant - £1,400 or £2,100 (depending on rateable value) if your business can remain open but is specifically required to modify its operations by law, for example having to close earlier than normal.

Information for local authorities

Businesses/premises required to close and eligible for a temporary closure grant:

Level 4

  • accommodations - hotels, B&Bs, self-catering, caravan and camp sites
  • hospitality - restaurants, cafes, pubs, bars, social clubs
  • retail - non-essential retail (exclusions)
  • close contact services - hairdressers, beauticians, tailors
  • sport and exercise - indoor gyms, swimming pools, dance studios, exercise class/yoga studios
  • leisure and entertainment - cinemas, arcades, soft play, funfairs, indoor bowling, theatres, comedy clubs, concert halls, sport stadiums, conference or exhibition centres, snooker/pool halls, casinos, bingo halls, nightclubs
  • visitor attractions

Local authority applications:

Flexible Workforce Development Fund 2020-21

All Scottish employers, including SME's can now access training up to the value of £5,000 to support the retraining and upskilling of employees, delivered by either their local college or the Open university.

Support for nightclubs and soft play [Businesses eligible for the Nightclub and Soft Play Area fund should have now been contacted directly by their local authority via email] 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Check which employees can be put on furlough (updated 5th Jan)

Strategic Framework Business Fund 

£1.2 Million Sector & Destination Operational and Market Readiness Fund CLOSED

Scottish Government announce £13 Million fund to support Scottish Events Sector

Scottish Government Coronavirus (COVID-19): Scottish Wholesale Food and Drink Resilience Fund CLOSED

COVID-19 Restrictions Fund CLOSED

Bounce Back Loan top-ups

Further information at




Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Employee Testing Programmes: Guidance for Employers

Scottish Government Manufacturing Sector Guidance

Scottish Government Retail Sector Guidance

Scottish Government Events Sector Guidance

Scottish Government Food Businesses Guidance

Scottish Government Coronavirus Guidance 

UK Government Support for Businesses

Scottish Government Business Support

Scottish Chambers of Commerce Business Support

British Chambers of Commerce Coronavirus Support Hub 

Furlough Claim Calculator for monthly payroll from FreeAgent

Example Furlough Letter

Support For Those Affected By Redundancy


Cabinet Secretary for Finance Kate Forbes Letter to Business - 20th January 2020 

Quest CJRS Extended FAQ's Jan 21

CLBILS extended until 31st March 2021

Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers announced

HSE Working Safely Guide

Coronavirus Support Finder Tool

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

British Business Bank CBILS Information

Business and Social Distancing Guidance

ACAS - Helpful Advice for both Employers and Employees during the Coronavirus Outbreak

Workplace Guidance for Micro and Small Businesses