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COVID-19 support and financial assistance for businesses and communities

Support and financial assistance available to businesses and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Support from the Scottish and UK Government

The Find Business Support website is being updated daily with information on funding and guidance from Government so please remember to check it regularly and sign-up for the email bulletins.  

Funds and support available

  • New 20 October: The Scottish Food and Drink Net Zero Challenge Fund The Scottish Food and Drink Net Zero Challenge Fund has been launched by Interface and the Scotland Food and Drink Partnership to support Scotland’s food and drink businesses as part of the Recovery Plan funded by Scottish Government. Funding of up to £10,000 will be available for businesses to partner with and fund Scottish academia on projects that contribute to sustainability and net zero goals. 
  • New 20 October: Scotland on Tour fund This fund is for professional musicians who have lost earnings as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The fund is not designed for those who practice music as a secondary career. Applications must be received before 6pm on Monday 22 November 2021.
  • Updated 15 October: Claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ended on 30 September 2021. Claims for September must have been submitted on or before 14 October 2021. Up until 28 October 2021 you can still make amendments to your September claim.
  • 28 September: COVID-19 Ventilation Fund announced. Business premises will be able to access a £25 million package to improve ventilation and reduce the risk of transmission. Grants will target a wide range of high risk settings where people come into close proximity, including restaurants, bars and gyms, with support available to help companies undertake work such as the installation of carbon dioxide monitors and altering windows and vents. This fund is not open yet, more details to follow in the coming weeks which will be published on Find Business Support
  • Updated 15 September: Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme If you are a small- or medium-sized business, you may be entitled to reclaim the costs of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for sickness absence due to COVID-19. The repayment will cover up to 2 weeks SSP starting from the first qualifying day of sickness, if an employee is unable to work.
  • 23 August: Touring fund for live music announced Musicians, bands, artists and venues will be able to apply to a £750,000 Scottish Government fund, expected to open in October 2021, to bring new and additional concerts to venues and festivals in Scotland next year. Scotland on Tour will support the staging of concerts across the whole nation from between January 2022 and January 2023. Details of how artists and venues apply will be announced shortly. Registrations of interest to the fund can be now be recorded by emailing
  • 23 August: Scottish Tourism Leadership Programme is open to applicants who are based in Scotland and already working in tourism, this live (real time) online 3-day course is fully funded by the Scottish Government and delivered by Napier University. There will be a particular focus on recovery and resilience, and the response to tourism's role in Scotland's net zero ambitions. Current leadership experience is not necessary. 
  • Updated 28 July: Local Authority Discretionary Fund A £120m fund distributed by local authorities across Scotland to help with the short-term financial challenges being experienced by businesses. The fund was doubled from its original £60m to £120m as of 10 February 2021 to allow councils to respond further to local economic pressures.
  • Updated 14 July: COVID-19 Taxi and Private Hire Driver Support Fund If you are a licensed taxi or private hire driver experiencing financial challenge as a result of COVID-19 you may be eligible to receive a one-off grant of £1,500. If you are eligible for a grant your local authority will get in touch with you, starting from week commencing 18 January 2021. You do not need to contact them.
  • 07 July: Self-Employment Income Support Scheme for Childcare/Nursery, Creative, Food and drink, Other sectors, Third Sector, Tourism. If you're self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been affected by the COVID-19, you may be eligible to apply for a taxable grant covering the period from 01 May 2021 to 30 September 2021. The amount of this grant will be determined by how much your business turnover has been reduced.
  • Updated 30 June: Business Rates Relief The Scottish Government has introduced extra rates relief discounts to help owners of certain non-domestic properties, including businesses, deal with the impact of coronavirus.

    The discounts include:

    • 1.6% relief on all non-domestic properties in Scotland
    • 100% rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses
    • 100% rates relief for certain businesses in the aviation industry
    • Small Business Bonus Scheme 
    • Payment deferral
    • Support for water bills

    The 1.6% rates relief was available to non-domestic properties from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021. This would have been applied automatically to your bill.

  • Updated 28 June: Temporary reduced rate of VAT for hospitality and hotel accommodation and attractions The UK Government is allowing VAT-registered businesses to apply a temporary reduced rate of VAT of 5% to certain products and services relating to:
    • hospitality
    • hotel and holiday accommodation
    • admissions to certain attractions

    The temporary reduced rate of 5% has been extended, and will now apply to transactions between 15 July 2020 and 30 September 2021. From 1 October 2021 until 31 March 2022, a VAT rate of 12.5% will apply.

  • Updated 28 June: Business Rates Relief The Scottish Government has introduced extra rates relief discounts to help owners of non-domestic properties, including businesses, deal with the impact of COVID-19. The rates relief is available to non-domestic properties from 01 April 2020 to 31 March 2021. Retail, hospitality, leisure and aviation businesses will have their relief extended for at least an additional three months.
  • New 16 June: Sustainable economic recovery Support for people to upskill and retrain. An initial 25 projects designed to help meet skills needs in a range of sectors will receive a share of up to £20 million as part of the second phase of the National Transition Training Fund. The fund is open to those aged 25 or over who are unemployed or who are at risk of redundancy, require upskilling or retraining. Information on how to access the wide range of skills and employment support available can be found at My World of Work.
  • 03 May: The Market and Festival Attendance Fund is being delivered through Screen Scotland. During this period of COVID-related restrictions on travel, the Market and Festivals Fund will only be open for writers, directors and producers taking part in online events. Whilst this means that costs for travel and accommodation cannot be included in an application, costs such as accreditation and access costs including childcare are eligible. 

    There are no deadlines, however, decisions will take up to four weeks from the date your application is received. 

  • 28 April: Self Isolation Support Grants available for low-income workers in Scotland who must self-isolate. 
  • Updated 26 April: Marine Fund Scotland This fund is currently closed due to high demand. If you have any queries please contact If you previously submitted an expression of interest, you will receive a response. This fund supports investments and jobs in seafood sectors, the marine environment and coastal communities in Scotland. It replaces the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) following the UK’s exit from the EU. 
  • Updated 07 April: Recovery Loan Scheme 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.

  • 23 March: Scotland's Creative Digital Initiative is a new £1 million digital support programme for creative and cultural businesses. It's been established to provide support to creative and cultural businesses to help them develop their digital capabilities in response to the limitations imposed by Covid-19. Focused on the needs of SMES and micro-businesses, it builds on some existing programmes of support as well as providing grants to enable organisations and businesses to invest in skills and resources. 
  • New 15 March: Support for recruiting and training employees If you are 25 and over and are facing redundancy or are unemployed, you can get training for industry recognised qualifications. The National Transition Training Fund will help you train in areas of expected growth such as sustainable green jobs.
  • New 11 March: Connecting Scotland is a collaboration between Scottish Government, Local Government and the Third Sector, with SCVO as lead delivery partner, developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides data, training, support and devices, so that the most vulnerable and digitally excluded people can access services and support and connect with friends and family.
  • Updated 03 March: VAT Reduced rate for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions If you’re a VAT registered business, check if you can temporarily reduce the rate of VAT on supplies relating to hospitality, accommodation, or admission to certain attractions. As announced at budget 2021, the government will be legislating to: extend the temporary reduced rate of VAT of 5% until 30 September 2021, and prepare for a new rate of 12.5% from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022. The supplies to which the temporary reduced rates will apply remain the same.
  • 01 February: Flexible Workforce Development Fund Scottish SMEs can benefit from up to £5000 of online training to upskill and reskill their workforce through a new programme launched by The Open University in Scotland. 
  • Updated 01 February: Small Business Bonus Scheme was developed by the Scottish Government. It provides rates relief to help owners of non-domestic properties, including businesses, deal with the impact of COVID-19. You are eligible if the combined rateable value of all your business properties is £35,000 or less; and, the rateable value of individual premises is £18,000 or less. Relief rates vary depending on the rateable value.
  • 22 January: Creative Scotland Covid 19 Resource Directory To help members of Scotland's creative community who have been affected by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, Creative Scotland have put together an A-Z list of relevant funding opportunities and other resources.
  • 18 January: Musicians Union Coronavirus Hardship fund The Musicians' Union is offering grants of up to £200 from their £1 million Coronavirus Hardship Fund for members who are experiencing genuine and pressing hardship as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
  • 15 January: Supreme Court Judgment in Covid-19 Insurance Claims The Supreme Court has issued a judgement on Friday 15 January which determines that business interruption claims arising out of COVID-19 will, subject to policy wording, be valid claims under relevant contracts of insurance. If you think you may be covered by such insurance now is the time to review your insurance policy and to make contact with your insurers about a claim. 
  • Updated 04 December: Nursery rate relief extended until 2023 Qualifying day nurseries will continue to benefit from 100% relief on non-domestic rates until at least June 2023.
  • 13 October: Funding increase for businesses through Adopt an Apprentice Payments for employers recruiting apprentices who have lost their jobs is being increased from £2,000 to £5,000 through the Scottish Government’s Adopt an Apprentice programme.  
  • 25 September: Scottish Veterans Fund opens the £200,000 Scottish Veterans Fund is now open for bids from projects that improve the lives of former service personnel and their families. The 2020/21 fund, supported by the Scottish Government and Standard Life Aberdeen, will also consider projects that recognise the impact of COVID-19.
  • 21 August: Redundancy support – PACE (Partnership Action for Continuing Employment) is the Scottish Government's national strategic partnership framework for responding to redundancy situations. Free support and advice is available through Skills Development Scotland to help minimise the impact for people and businesses facing redundancy.

Financial support for communities and the third sector

Find out what's available in our communities and third sector funding pages. 

Third sector and community funds


Keep up to date

Use the Find Business Support portal to keep up to date with all of the financial packages and support available for both businesses and third sector organisations.


Coronavirus Third Sector Information Hub

The SCVO website is also regularly updated with official information for charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations.

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