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

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 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

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'

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