A number of measures have been announced by the Scottish government to support individuals and businesses through the Coronavirus pandemic. 

At a glance

  • Newly self-employed hardship fund. 
  • Non-domestic rates relief.
  • Small business bonus scheme.
  • Cash grants.
  • Funding to support the homeless.
  • Revenue Scotland late payment interest rate cut.
  • Creative Scotland Bridging Bursary Fund.
  • Support for museums and galleries.
  • Sea fisheries hardship fund.
  • Aquaculture hardship fund.
  • Support finder.

For guidance on other measures introduced by the UK government see COVID-19: Government Support Tracker

Overview of Scottish measures

Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Act 2020

The Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Act 2020 received Royal Assent on 26 May 2020. It includes the following measures:

Land and Buildings Transaction Tax:

  • The period within which a previous main residence must be sold for a repayment of the additional dwelling supplement to be claimed is extended from 18 months to 36 months. This will apply where the effective date of the transaction is between 24 September 2018 and 24 March 2020. 

Coronavirus related grants and tax havens:

  • In Scotland, coronvirus related grants are not be provided to any business which is based in a tax haven, the subsidiary or parent of a person based in a tax haven, or which is party to an arrangement under which any of its profits are subject to the tax regime of a tax haven.

Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund

If you became self-employed on or after 6 April 2019, you are not eligible for the UK Government's Self-Employed Income Support scheme (SEISS). You can apply for this scheme for a one off taxable grant of £2,000.

To be eligible you must:

  • Have become self-employed on or after 6 April 2019.
  • Have lost revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Have not been able to access support through other COVID-19 business support schemes.
  • You need to apply in your Local Authority area.
  • See Gov.Scotland: Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund

Non-domestic rates relief

Small business bonus scheme

  • The existing scheme continues to apply by providing full relief for any type of businesses using a single property with a rateable value of £15,000 or less.
  • See Non-domestic rates relief.

Cash grants

  • Any non-domestic ratepayers may be eligible for a cash grant of £10,000 if they are already in receipt of:
    • Small Business Bonus Scheme Relief (SBBS)
    • Rural Relief
    • Nursery Relief
    • Disabled Relief
    • Business Growth Accelerator
    • Discretionary Sports Relief
    • Enterprise Areas Relief
    • Fresh Start Relief or
    • Charitable Rate Relief but eligible for SBBS. 
  • Ratepayers of properties in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors are eligible for a cash grant of up to £25,000. This is available only where the rateable value is between £18,001 - £51,000.
  • On top of the above grants available on the first property, a ratepayer can also be eligible for a 75% grant on each subsequent property meeting the above criteria.
  • There is also a new £100 million package of additional grant support for SMEs and the newly self-employed. This will be managed by local authorities and Scotland’s enterprise agencies.

Revenue Scotland late payment interest rate cut

  • Revenue Scotland interest rates for late payments will be revised after the Bank of England interest rate reduction to 0.1%. These changes came into effect on 25 March 2020.
  • Repayment interest rates remain unchanged.
  • See Revenue Scotland.

Funding to support homelessness

  • The Scottish government have announced an additional £350 million to help those affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • Funding is to be made available to councils, charities, businesses and community groups who work with rough sleepers and people who are homeless.

Creative Scotland bridging bursary fund

  • Provided a one-off bursary payment of between £500 - £2,500 to freelance artists and creative practitioners that have lost earnings as a result of COVID-19.
  • The bridging bursary fund is currently closed. See Creative Scotland for further details.
  • The overall fund budget is £4 million.

Creative, tourism and hospitality enterprises hardship fund

  • Available to businesses that are not in receipt of business rate relief and facing hardship.
  • Applications will need to be made to Enterprise Agencies in partnership with Creative Scotland and Visit Scotland.
  • £20 million grant funding is being made available.

Support for museums and galleries

  • An urgent response fund to support museums and galleries critically affected by COVID-19.
    • £400,000 to support accredited, independent museums who care for recognised collections. Applications required.
    • £300,000 to support non-recognised collections. Applications required.
  • There is a £55,000 digital resilience fund open to all museums, for equipment needed to provide digital access to collections and activities. Applications required.

Sea fisheries hardship fund

  • Payments are being made to help vessels meet fixed costs like mooring fees and insurance.
  • Funding amounts are graduated by fleet segment and length.
  • See the Fact sheet for more information.

Aquaculture hardship fund

  • Applications can only be made by businesses that were operating on a full-time basis and have suffered hardship as a result of COVID-19.
  • The business must have recorded sales of aquaculture products either £15,000 or more for shellfish and £20,000 or more for trout in 2019.
  • The first grant payment will cover two months and will be the equivalent to 50% of the average monthly gross revenue from sales in 2019.
  • Supporting invoices will need to be supplied alongside applications.

Support Finder 

The Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has created a COVID support Finder tool that individuals and companies can use to identify applicable benefits.


COVID-19: Government support tracker

External links

Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Act 2020

Revenue Scotland

Help for non-domestic ratepayers in Scotland during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Non-domestic rates relief

Museums Galleries Scotland Response on Coronavirus

The Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) 'Find coronavirus financial support for your business'