The following measures are in addition to the UK-wide support available

Last week Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop MSP confirmed that grant funding for the newly self-employed suffering hardship and SMEs in distress will be available in the coming days.

The £100m fund to support the self-employed and SMEs announced the week before by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes MSP will be broken into three separate funds as follows:

  • £34m Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund, managed by Local Authorities, will be allocated to the newly self-employed facing hardship through £2,000 grants
  • £20m Creative, Tourism & Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund, managed by the Enterprise Agencies in partnership with Creative Scotland and VisitScotland for creative, tourism and hospitality companies not in receipt of business rates relief
  • £45m Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund, managed by the Enterprise Agencies for vulnerable SME firms that are vital to the local or national economic foundations of Scotland.

The Scottish Government is also providing £1m to top up Creative Scotland’s Bridging Bursaries in the not-for-profit sector.

Speaking in parliament, Hyslop confirmed that the grant funding will be open for applications by the end of April, and that recipients will receive funds in early May.


The recently self-employed, who are excluded from the UK’s scheme but suffering hardship, will be able to receive £2,000 grants. For creative, tourism and hospitality companies of up to 50 employees not receiving business rates relief, there will be rapid access £3,000 hardship grants or larger grants up to £25,000 where it can be demonstrated support is needed.

The support and larger grants for pivotal SME enterprises will depend on the specific need of the enterprise and be developed by the relevant enterprise agency with wraparound business advice and support.

Business support package 

The Scottish Government launched a second phase of its business support package to help mitigate the impact of coronavirus. This extended the current Small Business Grants Scheme and added new support for the recently self-employed. 

The new package includes £120m to extend the Small Business Grant scheme so that, in addition to a 100% grant on the first property, small business rate payers will be eligible for a 75% grant on all subsequent properties.

A further £100m fund is also being made available for newly self-employed people and viable micro and SME businesses in distress due to Covid-19. This aims to protect recently self-employed people and businesses who are ineligible for other Scottish Government or UK Government schemes.

The new arrangements for the Small Business Grant will be open for applications on 5 May.

Applications for the £100m fund will be open by the end of April and will be channelled through local authorities and enterprise agencies.

A helpline providing businesses across Scotland with advice and guidance on Covid-19 is available Monday to Friday, between 8.30am and 5.30pm. The business helpline number is 0300 303 0660.

An overview of the Scottish Government support for business can be found here and here.