Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund

Support provided by Scottish Government Business Gateway

What does this involve?

You need to apply in your Local Authority area. You may only apply to this fund once. 

You will be asked to provide documentary evidence of your status and eligibility for the grant. Local authorities will then determine whether you meet the criteria, which has been set by the Scottish Government.

You will need to provide: 

  • documentation to show you had an active business prior to COVID-19, such as your VAT registration, bank account statements showing revenue and outgoings linked to self-employment, marketing materials, etc. A full list is provided with the application form.
  • self-declaration that you are currently experiencing hardship
  • evidence of being resident in the local authority area of application

Successful applicants will receive a one-off payment of £2,000.

Am I eligible?

You must sign a declaration confirming that you meet all of the following criteria:

  • you became self-employed on/after 6 April 2019 (did not submit a tax return including income from self-employment for 2018-19)
  • over 50% of your individual income is from self-employment
  • your trading profits were below £50,000 in financial year 2019-20
  • you have lost business due to coronavirus and are suffering financial hardship as a result
  • you are ineligible for other COVID-19 related business support (including the Business Interruption Loan Schemes, Corporate Finance Fund, Job Retention Schemes, Future Fund, R&D Focussed SMEs Fund, HMRC Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, Non-Domestic Rates relief, Small Business Grant or other business support)
  • you do not receive working age benefit 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 or an advanced payment of Universal Credit
  • you trade as self-employed, not as a limited company. If in a partnership, you are self-employed for pay and tax purposes
  • you 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

What does this cost?

There is no cost to apply

Who is this for?

If you became self-employed on or after 6 April 2019, you are not eligible for the UK Government scheme. So, you can apply for this scheme but there are still eligibility requirements. 

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

How long does this take?

Up to 10 working days from application to appraisal and funds being released for approved applications. 

Important information

If you receive the grant you can continue to work or take on other employment including voluntary work.

Funds are needs-based and partners are committed to ensuring the support goes to those who need it most and are pivotal to our local, regional and national economies.

Support provided by Scottish Government Business Gateway

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