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COVID-19 Business Hardship Fund

The Scottish Government has introduced a new temporary business support fund to provide one-off grants, restricted to types of business detailed below, who were directly impacted by the restrictions implemented on 9 October 2020.
 
The fund is NOW LIVE and will close to new applications on Tuesday 3rd November at 17:00.
 

Who is eligible?

The types of business eligible to apply for this funding in Fife are: 
 
  • Hospitality businesses and gyms unable to operate group classes who are required by the regulations to operate in a restricted way;
  • Producers/wholesale businesses directly supplying primarily perishable/short-life supplies to hospitality businesses required by the regulations to close or operate in a restricted way, and who are able to evidence a 25% reduction in turnover during the brake period. 
 
For clarity, retail and businesses that provide takeaway food as the core and established basis of their operations are not eligible for the hardship fund.
 

In addition, accommodation providers such as Bed and Breakfast, Guesthouses, Property/ Holiday let and social enterprises are not considered eligible businesses under the Scottish Government guidelines

Eligible businesses in Fife will be able to access a business hardship fund -  with payments of £1,440 or  £2,155, dependent on Rateable Value (details below) -   to  support some businesses that remain open but are still significantly impacted by the restrictions, including those in the direct supply chains of firms that must close.  An upper limit of £14,000 will apply in total to any eligible business operating multiple premises. 
 
PLEASE NOTE: If you have applied before the amounts were increased changed on 21st October, you do not need to reapply to qualify for the higher amount. This will automatically be applied if your application is approved.

 
If your business operates multiple premises you can apply for grants for each premise. A separate application is required for each premises. The maximum any one business can receive will be restricted, regardless of the number of premises: with the upper limit for the business hardship fund being £14,000.
 

Criteria

Your businesses must have been open and trading before 9th October 2020.
 
You must have a business bank account. This is the account your grant will be paid into if your application is successful.
 
Your business premises must be registered for Non-Domestic rates. Businesses that pay rates through their landlords rather than directly to a Council are eligible to apply (evidence to be provided through copy of lease agreement). 
 
Businesses which have breached wider COVID regulations/requirements prior to local restrictions are not eligible to apply. 
 
Businesses with connections to tax havens, as set out in the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Act 2020, are not eligible to apply.
 
Applications are welcome from Limited Companies, Sole Traders, Trusts and Partnerships provided they meet the other criteria. 
 

How to apply

Click on the link below to access the online application.
 
 
You will receive a decision within 10 days of submitting a complete application including all necessary supporting evidence. Submission of incorrect or incomplete evidence will prolong the decision-making process. 
 
If approved, payment will be made within 3 working days of receiving your decision.
 
If you have any questions, or wish to appeal your decision, please contact Hardshipfund@bgfife.co.uk 
 

Business Hardship Fund FAQ

Who can apply?

The types of business eligible to apply for this funding in Fife are:

  • Hospitality businesses and gyms unable to operate group classes who are required by the regulations to operate in a restricted way;
  • Producers/wholesale businesses directly supplying primarily perishable/short-life supplies to hospitality businesses required by the regulations to close or operate in a restricted way, and who are able to evidence a 25% reduction in turnover during the brake period.

 

Where do I apply?

You can apply online here.

How much will I receive?

Eligible premises with a rateable value up to and including £51,000 will receive a one-off grant of £1,440. Eligible premises with a rateable value over £51,000 will receive £2,155.

A £10,000 upper limit applies to businesses with multiple eligible premises.

When will I hear back from you?

We aim to process your application within 10 working days of receiving all the information required to make a decision, including the valid supporting evidence. The online application system will provide you with text updates at each stage of the process.

I have multiple eligible premises across various local authority areas. Where should I apply?

All applications should be directed to the local authority in which your business is headquartered, regardless of where the eligible premises are located.

How will I know if my application has been successful?

You will receive at text to confirm when your application has been approved and also once the payment has been processed. The grant should clear into your bank account within 2 working days of payment.

I’m eligible for, or have received, other COVID-19 related business support, can I still apply for this hardship payment?

Yes.

What evidence do I need to support my application?

All applicants will be required to provide:

  • A bank statement for their dedicated business bank account. This account must be in the name of the business for which you are applying. No payments will be made to a personal bank account. Bank statements should clearly show the name of the bank, account holder name, account number and sort code.
  • One of the following, depending on the type of business
    • Company: Certificate of Incorporation or Companies House registration number.
    • Partnership: Partnership agreement or HMRC registration.
    • Sole Trader: HMRC registration, Self-assessment documents or valid business insurance document.
    • Trust: Constitution documents, HMRC registration or VAT registration document.

 

In addition to this, producers/wholesale businesses directly supplying primarily perishable/short-life supplies to hospitality businesses required by the regulations to close or operate in a restricted way, are required to provide evidence of a 25% reduction in turnover as a result of the current brake period. Examples of the type of evidence we will accept are a recent profit and loss account, invoices and receipts, details of contracts lost, cancelled booking diaries/work schedules, cancelled customer bookings etc.

Can I appeal your decision?

Yes. Appeals should be submitted by email to Hardshipfund@bgfife.co.uk with the subject line “Appeal – Business Hardship Fund - [Your Business Name]”. The email should clearly state the reason why you believe the decision to decline your application was incorrect.

We will aim to respond to your appeal within 3 working days of receipt of your email.

Please be aware that the eligibility criteria for this fund have been set by the Scottish Government and that we have limited local discretion when it comes to applying these.

I have a question I can’t find the answer to – who do I contact?

You can contact Hardshipfund@bgfife.co.uk for help completing the form.