This page is kept up to date with a summary of the latest guidance we've issued, giving you a snapshot overview of the key announcements and updates on deadlines.

The following was updated on Friday 12 March at 4pm.

To find information on our previous update on Wednesday 3 March, click here.

We've outlined the details of additional funding measures announced over the last week which may prove useful to you and your business:

Non sector-specific update for individuals and businesses

Support for the Hospitality and Tourism sector

Support for the Seafood Sector

Support for Freelancers and the Events sector

Support for the Health and Beauty Sector

Support for the Third Sector

Non sector specific update for individuals and businesses

Help to Grow scheme

New management and digital training support initiatives for small businesses were announced in the recent Budget, commencing in Autumn 2021. UK businesses from any sector that have been operating for more than one year, with between 5 to 249 employees, are invited to apply for places, and funded places are available.

Designed to be manageable alongside full-time work, the 12-week programme will combine a practical curriculum with 1:1 support from a business mentor, peer-learning sessions and an alumni network.

Click here for more information. 

Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund 

*The deadline for applications has been extended to 11.59pm on 23 March 2021.*

This grant scheme was introduced to offer a one-off payment of £4,000 to those whose status as being newly self-employed makes them ineligible for the UK Government's Coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. 

There were technical issues when the fund opened, impacting the ability of some people to successfully submit applications and that may have led to a number of eligible applications being declined. However, all applications impacted by a known error have been contacted directly to resolve the issue as swiftly as possible.

If you have a question about your application, please use the separate enquiry form provided here. If you have already submitted an enquiry, you do not need to resubmit. Responses may take up to five days due to the current high volume of queries.

When you submit your application, you will receive a unique reference number. These reference numbers do not indicate when an application will be processed and concluded, as the work involved in each case may differ.

Find out more information about this funding here.

Recovery Loan Scheme - launches on 6 April 2021

The Recovery Loan Scheme will provide support to UK businesses as they recover and grow following the disruption of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The scheme ensures that businesses of any size can continue to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £10 million per business once the existing COVID-19 loan schemes close.

The UK Government will guarantee 80% of the finance to the lender to give them the confidence to lend to businesses.

  • Term loans and overdrafts will be available in amounts between £25,001 and £10 million per business.
  • Invoice finance and asset finance will be available in amounts between £1,000 and £10 million per business.

Once received, the finance can be used for any legitimate business purpose, including growth and investment.

The scheme launches on 6 April 2021 and is open until 31 December 2021, subject to review. Loans will be available through a network of accredited lenders, whose names will be made public in due course. You can find out more here.

Support for the Hospitality and Tourism sector

Scotland Tour Operators Fund 

The criteria for the Scotland Inbound Tour Operators – COVID-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund has widened and a new fund, the Scotland Day Tour Operators – COVID-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund, has been introduced to support more Scotland-based businesses in the tour operator sector critical to Scotland’s tourism economy.

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. 

The two strands are:

  • Scotland Inbound Tour Operators - COVID-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund:
    *now closed to applications*
  • Scotland Day Tour Operators - COVID-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund:
    *application deadline is 5pm on Thursday 18 March 2021*

The £15 million fund is being delivered by VisitScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government and has been developed with input from the Scottish Tourism Alliance, the Scottish Destination Management Association, the Scottish Incoming Golf Tour Operators Association, UK Inbound and the Scottish Independent Tour Operators Association.

Find out more information here.

Campervan and Motorhome Rental Operators Fund 

*Deadline for applications is 5pm on Thursday 18 March 2021.*

The purpose of this fund is to support the financial continuity of eligible campervan and motorhome rental businesses while COVID-19 restrictions on opening and travel are still in place, and to support them to prepare for accepting visitors later in 2021, when it is hoped restrictions will be lifted.

For more information on the eligibility criteria for this fund, click here. You can apply through the online application form on VisitScotland.org.

This £1 million fund is being delivered by VisitScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government, with development input from the Campervan and Motorhome Professional Association (CaMPA). VisitScotland is the awarding body for this fund.

Hostel COVID-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund

*Strand 2 of this fund is now open for applications. The deadline to apply is midday on Tuesday 16 March 2021.*

The £2.8 million fund has been established to provide financial support for the Scottish-based hostel sector. It is being delivered on behalf of the Scottish Government by VisitScotland, with development input from Scottish Independent Hostels, Hostelling Scotland and Independent Hostels UK.

Following feedback from industry and recognising a funding gap for larger hostels in Scotland, a second strand of the fund has been created to support hostels in Scotland with a rateable value above £51,000 who were not eligible for the first strand of funding.

A two-strand approach to grant funding is necessary to meet the needs of the sector:

  • Strand 1 is now closed for applications: this supports hostels in Scotland with a rateable value below £51,000.
  • Strand 2 is open for applications from midday on Tuesday 9 March to midday on Tuesday 16 March 2021: this is open to proprietors of large hostel businesses with a rateable value above £51,000.

Find out more here.

Support for Small Accommodation Providers Paying Council Tax Fund

The Support for Small Accommodation Providers Paying Council Tax Fund (SAP-CTF) is to support small accommodation providers in Scotland that pay council tax, including B&Bs, guest houses and self-catering properties, and which have been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions. 

This fund if for small accommodation providers in Scotland, including B&BS, guest houses and self-catering business. 

All B&Bs, self-catering businesses and guest houses that were previously supported by either the Bed and Breakfast Hardship Fund or the Creative, Tourism and Hospitality Hardship Fund are automatically eligible for support under this scheme. These business will be contacted by the local authority and invited to register for payment. 

B&Bs, self-catering businesses and guest houses that have not previously been supported are also eligible to apply to this fund.  

For more information on eligibility criteria, click here.

Support for the Seafood Sector

Seafood Producers Resilience Fund 

*The deadline for applications for aquaculture undertakings is 23 April 2021.*

*Applications are now closed for fishing vessels.*

The Seafood Producers Resilience Fund will provide support to eligible shellfish catchers and eligible shellfish and trout aquaculture businesses. The funding aims to help businesses which 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.

The scheme will provide vital cash to vulnerable fishers and producers as quickly as possible in order to:

  • support the seafood producing sector
  • ensure that viable businesses are not lost
  • keep jobs in remote coastal communities

Find out more information here.

Support for Freelancers and the Events sector

Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers

*This fund is currently paused until 2pm on 15 March 2021.*

The Scottish Government has committed £17 million through Creative Scotland and Screen Scotland for creative freelancers who are experiencing hardship due to lost income from work and/or practice in the creative sector due to COVID-19. £8 million was distributed between October 2020 and February 2021. A further £9 million is to be distributed in March 2021.

In this latest round, as well as supporting new applicants, previous recipients of the fund who have been awarded funding can also apply again for a further award of up to £2,000.

Find out more here.

Screen Hardship Fund

*This fund is currently paused until 2pm on 15 March 2021.*

This fund is to support freelance screen practitioners working in all parts of Scotland’s screen sector and commercial photographers who are experiencing immediate financial hardship.

The Scottish Government has committed £17m through Screen Scotland and Creative Scotland for creative freelancers who are experiencing hardship due to lost income from work and/or practice in the creative sector due to COVID-19. £8m was administered between October 2020 and February 2021. A further £9m is to be administered in March 2021.

For this latest round, as well as supporting new applicants, previous recipients of the fund who have been awarded funding can also apply again for a further award of up to £2k.

Please note: Those working in the creative sector but not specifically in screen or photography should apply to the Creative Scotland Hardship Fund which is open at the same time as this fund.

Support for the Health and Beauty Sector

Mobile and Home-based Close Contact Services Fund - Deadline for applications is 5pm on 16 March 2021

*The deadline for applications has been extended to 11.59pm on 23 March 2021.*

This funding is being provided by the Scottish Government. Eligible applicants will receive a one-off £4,000 payment (£2,000 for the period to end December 2020 and a further £2,000 to cover the period from January 2021 onwards). To be eligible for this grant you must:

  • have been operating your business before 17 March 2020
  • have lost income as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, and
  • meet all of the eligibility criteria

This fund is for owners and operators of mobile and home-based close contact service businesses and for registered driving instructors. It is not for employees of those businesses. If you are an employee of one of those businesses, you should speak with your employer on your eligibility for support through the UK Government’s Job Retention scheme. If you think you are eligible and intend to apply, please gather all of the information and supporting evidence outlined in the "Important information" section before starting your application. You can find out more information here.

Support for the Third Sector

Community & Third Sector Recovery Programme

The Community & Third Sector Recovery Programme aims to support charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations that are supporting people and communities through the shift from lockdown to recovery. As well as providing ongoing crisis support, they will be planning and implementing changes to adapt and thrive in a very different social and economic climate.

The programme has two strands: Adapt & Thrive and Community Recovery Fund.

In the simplest terms, Adapt & Thrive is capacity building to help organisations adapt, change, and thrive post COVID-19. The Communities Recovery Fund is grant funding to deliver support and services in communities.

*The Communities Recovery Fund is now closed, but the Adapt and Thrive Programme deadline has been extended until 30 June 2021.*