Skip to main content
Visit Scotland | Alba

min read

As it becomes available, this page will be updated with the latest financial advice to support tourism and events businesses. 

Find Business Support

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Business Support helpline | 0300 303 0660 
A helpline providing businesses across Scotland with advice and guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19) - open Monday to Friday, between 8.30am to 5.30pm. Callers should select option one to speak to the coronavirus (COVID-19) team. This helpline is receiving thousands of calls. All information is also available at:

Alternatively, use the UK Government business support finder to see what support is available for you and your business.

Summary of financial support to business in Scotland

Update 3 July: 


What's covered

How to access

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Furlough Scheme extended until 31 October 2020

You can now submit claims for periods starting on or after 1 July. 31 July is the last day that you can submit claims for periods ending on or before 30 June.

From 1 July 2020, businesses will be given the flexibility to bring previously furloughed employees back part time. This is a month earlier than previously announced to help support people back to work.

Employers can claim 80% for furloughed employees' (employees on a leave of absence) usual monthly wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. Supports employees who would otherwise be laid off. 

Further details are available in this factsheet 

HMRC. This service is now live. 

Diageo 'Raising the Bar' 

This is a new global programme to support pubs and bars to welcome customers back and recover following the COVID-19 pandemic. “Raising the Bar” will be a two-year programme available from July 2020.

“Raising the Bar” will be a two-year programme available from July 2020.

Register your interest for the programme.

B&B hardship fund

B&Bs operating from a personal bank account can now apply for a share of £3 million as part of the Scottish Government Business Support Fund.

To read the full criteria and apply via your Local Authority visit

Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund

This grant is for businesses that can play a critical role in supporting Scotland’s recovery but need some immediate support. It might be to get back up and running or to maintain or diversify your current operations.



Bounce Back Loan Scheme

Small businesses will be able to apply for quick and easy-to-access loans from 4 May and will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 with the cash arriving within days. Loans will be 100% government backed for lenders, and businesses can apply online through a short and simple form.

NOW OPEN - You cannot apply if you’re already claiming under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

The full rules of the scheme and guidance on how to apply is available on the British Business Bank website. 

New hardship fund for SME's and the newly self-employed

New support announced for the newly self-employed and firms suffering hardship in a £100 million fund. 
This fund will be channeled through local authorities and enterprise agencies to target newly self-employed people and businesses who are ineligible for other Scottish Government or UK Government schemes.

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

Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

Update: The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme will be extended, with eligible individuals able to claim a second and final grant in August. The eligibility criteria remains the same as for the first grant and individuals will need to confirm that their business has been adversely affected by coronavirus. The first SEISS grant, which opened for applications on 13 May, will close to new applications on 13 July.

SEISS is a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month. Supports those whose majority income comes from self-employment and whose profits are less than £50,000. The scheme will be open for an initial three months with the first claims being paid by the beginning of June.


HMRC will contact eligible claimants directly.

Business Support Fund

The Scottish Government has introduced the Business Support Fund, which small businesses in receipt of the small business bonus scheme or rural relief, as well as hospitality, leisure and retail business can benefit.

These grants are only available for business who pay non-domestic rates


Read on for more details of the Small Business Bonus Scheme eligibility criteria

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

Government backed loans and other financial support up to £5 million provided by the British Business Bank via participating lenders. Interest-free for first 12 months. 

British Business Bank. Operational from 23 March 2020. 

Business rates relief

1.6% rates relief for all occupied non-domestic properties in Scotland from 1 April 2020. 

100% rates relief for occupied retail, hospitality and leisure businesses from 1 April 2020.

Applied automatically by local authorities. 

Now operational.

Scottish Government Small Business Support Grant

A one-off grant of £10,000 for small businesses who get Small Business Bonus Scheme relief or Rural Relief.

Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value between £18,000 to £51,000 will be able to apply for a one-off grant of £25,000. 

Update: The closing date for applications is 10 July 2020.

Update:  from Tuesday 5 May, if you have multiple properties you can now apply for a grant for each eligible property, subject to compliance with EU State Aid Rules.

Delivered by local authorities. 

See sector eligibility definitions on the website.

VAT deferral

VAT deferral for all businesses from 20 March until 30 June 2020. 

Update: The VAT payments deferral scheme ended on 30 June 2020 as previously set out. 
If you have cancelled your Direct Debit to HMRC to take advantage of the deferral see guidance on what you need to do now

Income tax deferral 

Income tax self-assessment payments for the self-employed due on 31 July 2020 will be deferred until 31 January 2021

Automatic - no applications needed.

HMRC Time to Pay

Support from HMRC for all businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outlanding tax liabilities.

Agreed on a case-by-case basis by HMRC, tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

Rebate for all UK SMEs of up to two weeks' SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19. See eligibility conditions.

Delivered via UK Government. Details to be announced once legislation has been passed. 

Covid Corporate Financing Facility 

The Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies, allowing companies affected by a short-term funding squeeze to finance their short-term liabilities. 

Bank of England. Scheme is now available for applications. Read more from the Bank of England.

Wellbeing scheme

Apply for the Wellbeing Fund for Scottish third sector organisation providing important coronavirus services for the community

Update: Round 2 of the fund closed to applications at midday on 22 May 2020.

Fund is currently paused but the fund will open for expressions of interest again on 7 May 2020


Businesses insured for both pandemics and government ordered closure should be covered. This was confirmed by UK Government and insurance industry on 17 March 2020. 

Businesses should check terms and conditions of their specific insurance policy and contact their provider.

More business resources