Strategic Framework Business Fund

Support provided by Scottish Government

What does this involve?

The Strategic Framework Business Fund

If your business is required to close by law or to significantly change its operations due to COVID-19 restrictions, you may be eligible to apply for grant funding.

Grant funding for eligible business will cover the period of any closures or restrictions with the earliest claim date being 2 November 2020. You can still apply even if you are required to close or modify your operations for less than 4 weeks.

Applications to the Strategic Framework Business Fund should be made through your local authority website.

Grants will be paid every 4 weeks in arrears as long as restrictions last.

When a local authority area transitions from Level 4, eligible businesses will continue to get the Strategic Framework Business Fund closure payment of up to £3,000 for the first four week period after they are able to re-open.

Businesses should have a business bank account where possible. Local authorities may consider applications from businesses with personal accounts used for business activity. However, they may request additional evidence, so they can assess the validity and eligibility of individual cases.

If your business is required to close by law, apply for the Temporary Closure grant:

  • £2,000 if your business premises has a rateable value of up to and including £51,000
  • £3,000 if your business premises has a rateable value of £51,001 or above

As of 26 December 2020, Travel Agents are now eligible to apply for Temporary Closure grants. Eligible businesses will be contacted by their local authority.

When a local authority area transitions from Level 4, eligible businesses will continue to get the Strategic Framework Business Fund closure payment of up to £3,000 for the first four week period after they are able to re-open.

If your business can remain open but is specifically required to modify its operations by law, for example having to close earlier than normal, apply for the Business Restrictions grant (this does not include where demand for your products or services has reduced due to the pandemic):

  • £1, 400 if your business premises has a rateable value of up to and including £51,000
  • £2,100 if your business premises has a rateable value of £51,001 or above

Note that only businesses in local authority areas in Levels 0 to 3 are eligible for the Business Restrictions grant.

Grants will be paid every 4 weeks in arrears.

Payments will be paid administered by local authorities, and you will not need to re-apply if restrictions are extended beyond four weeks.

When restrictions end, any final payment in arrears may be adjusted to reflect the duration of the restrictions to the nearest week.

Hospitality, non-essential retail and leisure top-up funds

Non-essential retail and leisure businesses who applied for the Strategic Framework Business Fund by 5 February 2021 are also eligible for a top-up payment. If you have already applied to the Strategic Framework Business Fund, you do not need to reapply for the top-up grant. It will be issued automatically.

For hospitality businesses: 

  • £25,000 for larger hospitality businesses on top of the 4-weekly £3,000
  • £6,000 for smaller hospitality businesses on top of the 4-weekly £2,000

For non-essential retail and leisure businesses (such as indoor gyms):

  • £9,000 for larger retail and leisure businesses on top of the 4-weekly £3,000
  • £6,000 for smaller retail and leisure businesses on top of the 4-weekly £2,000

In most cases, eligible businesses that have already applied for the 4-weekly payment from the Strategic Framework Business Fund will get an automatic top-up. 

For the majority, this top-up will be combined with the next payment for the Strategic Framework Business Fund which went to businesses on 25 January 2021.

Restaurants, bars, pubs, licensed social and sports clubs, cafes and hotels are eligible for the hospitality top-up payment. Other accommodation providers (self-catering, B&Bs, guesthouses, campsite and caravan parks) are not eligible.

The following are eligible for the retail and leisure top-up:

  • non-essential retail (shop fronts) required to close
  • premises that provide close contact services
  • sports and exercise - indoor gyms, swimming pools, dance studios, exercise class/yoga studios, indoor soccer centres
  • leisure - cinemas, arcades, soft play, funfairs, indoor bowling, theatres, comedy clubs, snooker/pool halls, casinos, bingo halls, nightclubs, concert halls, music venues

Am I eligible?

Whether your business is eligible will depend on where your premises are located and what level of restrictions are in place at any point in time.

You can apply if:

  • your business has been directly impacted by restrictions and the type/sector is mentioned in the eligibility guidelines
  • your business is registered for non-domestic rates - if you pay rates through a landlord rather than directly to a local authority you can still apply but must provide evidence through a copy of the lease agreement

Limited companies (including Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations), sole traders, trust and partnerships can apply provided they meet the above criteria.

Note that only businesses in local authority areas in Levels 0 to 3 are eligible for the Business Restrictions grant.

If your business operates multiple premises you can apply for grants for each premise. From 1 January 2021 there will no longer be an upper limit on future payments for any eligible business operating multiple premises.  Businesses already in receipt of payments need not reapply.  Business applying for the first time on or after 1 January should submit individual applications to each relevant local authority for all relevant premises in that area.

You cannot apply if your business:

  • is not mentioned in the eligibility guidelines 
  • has breached wider COVID-19 regulations/requirements prior to local restrictions
  • has connections to tax havens

Read the full eligibility guidelines for more detail.

Mobile close contact services

The Scottish Government will publish details of support for mobile close contact services separately. This website will be updated as soon as information is available. Please do not contact your local authority at this time.

Who is this for?

This is for Scottish businesses that are required to close by law as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.

How long does this take?

Grants will be paid every four weeks in arrears.

The first payment of this grant funding was at the end of November 2020.

In February, eligible businesses will receive a Level 4 closure grant of £2,000 or £3,000, regardless of any change to the level of restriction during the period.

Important information

To apply for this fund, you need to go through your local council: 

Next steps

Visit the Scottish Government website for more information about the fund.

Support provided by Scottish Government

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