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January 26th 2021

Coronavirus: an update on grant funds, including the Strategic Framework Business Fund

The Strategic Framework Business Fund (SFBF) is the main source of support for businesses in Scotland, as all non-domestic rated businesses that are required by law to close are eligible for grants, with almost 50,000 businesses across the country able to apply.

Applications are made through local authorities. A business only has to apply once, and they will then receive a four-weekly recurring grant for as long as they remain eligible. There are two ‘strands’ of support:

  • temporary closure grant - £2,000 or £3,000 (depending on rateable value) if a business is required to close by law; and
  • business restrictions grant - £1,400 or £2,100 (depending on rateable value) if a business can remain open but is specifically required by law to modify its operations.

In addition to the grants the businesses receive through the SFBF, from 11 January 2021 all 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; or
  • £6,000 for smaller retail and leisure businesses on top of the 4-weekly £2,000.

The list of eligible businesses under each of these categories is available here. Eligible businesses that have already applied for the 4-weekly payment from the SFBF will get an automatic top-up and other businesses that apply for the SFBF will also receive the top-up.

This month, island businesses in level 3 will also have access to similar payments via increased funding for islands through Local Authority Discretionary Funds.

All self-catering properties, B&Bs and guest houses that pay non-domestic rates are eligible for regular payments through the SFBF.

Support equivalent to the SFBF will also be available to all B&Bs that do not pay non-domestic rates but pay Council Tax.

Sector-specific funding

There are also additional funds to target financial support at those businesses and sectors not eligible for the SFBF or UK Government-funded schemes, or who require further funding in light of the specific challenges they face as a result of the pandemic.

The following targeted grant schemes are now live:

  • Taxi and Private Hire Fund;
  • Creative Freelancer Hardship Fund;
  • Museums Recovery and Resilience Fund Top Up;
  • Creative Communities;
  • Scotland Pivotal Event Business Fund.

Funds going live this month include:

  • Mobile Close Contact Services Fund, including driving instructors and hairdressers;
  • Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund (second round of funding);
  • Travel Agents Fund;
  • Wedding Sector Support Fund;
  • Events Industry Support Fund;
  • Brewer Support Fund.

Funds due to go live in February include:

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

Contact us for assistance with preparing and submitting your grant claims and applications.

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