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Applications open for lifeline support schemes

Wild Scotland welcomes the news of additional lifeline funding for many small and medium sized businesses in Scotland. We have been lobbying hard on behalf of not only our members but the wider adventure tourism sector in Scotland and the hard work is beginning to pay off. These businesses that have fallen between the gaps have now been recognised and many will be grateful of this much needed support.

We would like to thank the Cabinet Secretary Fergus Ewing and Government Officials that have been working tirelessly with Wild Scotland, destination organisations and other sector organisations such as Sail Scotland, ASSC and ASVA to find solutions to the many challenges being faced by their members and the wider tourism sector. We would also like to thank the Scottish Tourism Alliance for their commitment and hard work supporting Scottish Tourism.

A £100 million package of additional grant support for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) and newly self-employed people opens for applications later today.

The three separate funds will be administered by local authorities and Scotland’s enterprise agencies and will begin to pay out grants in early May.

They include a £34 million hardship fund for the newly self-employed, a £20 million fund for small and micro enterprises in the creative, tourism and hospitality sectors and £45 million for viable SMEs crucial to the Scottish economy which are vulnerable.

Below is more detail on qualifying criteria. The first is administered by Local Authorities and applications made to each authority.

Two and Three will be administered by Enterprise agencies with central application. For number 2 at least we believe that a Cash Flow Forecast and evidence of viability at the end of 2019 may be required.

Funds officially open and full details will be announced at 2pm, so the applications links in the funds 2 and 3 do not work yet. Some Local Authorities already have number 1 live.

Please take time when making your application, make sure you have all the relevant documents in place before applying. 


 1. Newly Self Employed Hardship Fund (£34m) 


To be eligible you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • You must have become self-employed on or after 6 April 2019 (did not submit a tax return including income from self-employment for 2018-19)
  • Over 50% of your income is from self-employment
  • You must be trading below £50,000 in the 2019-2020 financial year
  • You must be able to provide evidence of trading up to March 2020 and intend to continue trading in the tax year 2020-21
  • You must have lost business due to coronavirus and experience personal financial hardship as a result
  • You must be ineligible for other COVID-19 related business support (including the Business Interruption Loan Schemes, Corporate Finance Fund, Job Retention Schemes, Future Fund, R&D Focused SMEs Fund, HMRC Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, Non-Domestic Rates relief, Small Business Grant or other business support)
  • You are not yet in receipt of state benefits payments (Universal Credit, Statutory Sick Pay, Employment and Support Allowance, Job Seekers’ Allowance, Income Support) or have applied for but not yet started receiving Universal Credit at the time of applying
  • You must be trading as self-employed, not as a limited company or partnership
  • You must have taken steps to limit costs and expenditure (including through schemes such as VAT deferral and seeking a mortgage payment holiday)
    You do not have access to sufficient savings or other sources of income to meet basic needs


2. Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund (£45m)


Available to all sectors key criteria:

  • Up to 249 employees
  • Micro, small or medium enterprise
  • Demonstrate that the funding you are applying for will support your business to be viable for the coming 12 months
  • Not in financial difficulty on 31 December 2019
  • Has a business bank account that has been open for at least 12 months
  • Not applied for the Hardship Fund grant
  • No ceiling to the value of the grant – agencies can make decisions up to £150k, anything over required a ministerial decision
  • Anticipated turnaround from application to payment of 10 working days
  • Applications:


3. Creative, Hospitality and Tourism Hardship Fund (£20m)


Open to all businesses within the defined sectors (whether or not account managed) key criteria:

  • Up to 49 employees
  • Micro, small or medium enterprise
  • Has lost more than 50% of revenue or projected revenue due to COVID-19
  • Was not in financial difficulty on 31 December 2019
  • Has a business bank account
  • In the creative, tourism, hospitality sector
  • Not in receipt of any other Covid-19 grant funding (excluded Job Retention Scheme)
  • No intending to apply for the resilience fund
  • Must not be pre-trading
  • Grants up to £25k
  • Applications:
Wild Scotland very much welcome this funding, many members and other in the adventure tourism sector are in desperate need of this support. Please keep in touch if you have any problems accessing the fund. 
Good luck to those applying.

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