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

Summary of financial support to business in Scotland


What's covered 

How to access

Generic support

COVID-19 Ventilation Fund

The Scottish Government’s COVID-19 Ventilation Fund will help businesses improve ventilation and air quality on their premises to help reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission. The fund will provide both grants and advice to help companies undertake work to improve ventilation.

Details on eligibility criteria and the application process will be published on the Business Support website in the coming weeks.

You can find further information on the Business Support website.

Local Authority Discretionary Fund

A £120 million fund will be distributed by local authorities across Scotland. It will help with the short-term financial challenges being experienced by businesses. Eligibility and criteria vary, so check your local authority website for details. This is for businesses who have not been eligible for previous business support grants.

Find out more on the Find Business Support website.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough) will continue until 30 September 2021. From 1 August 2021, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a maximum cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee is on furlough.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be ending on 30 September 2021. Claims for September must be submitted by 14 October 2021 and any amendments must be made by 28 October 2021. 

Check if you can claim for your employees' wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to create new job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long term unemployment. 

This is part of the UK Government's Plan for Jobs and aims to create hundreds and thousands of new, fully funded jobs across England, Scotland and Wales. 

You can find information on this scheme at

Young people can find out more about the Kickstart Scheme at the jobhelp site.

Digital Enablement Loan

The Digital Development Loan is a Scottish Government initiative to help improve Scotland’s digital productivity. It is available to Scottish SMEs, who have been trading at least 6 months to help meet upfront costs of improving digital use.

  • Borrow between £5,000 – £100,000

  • Interest free

  • Up to 5 years repayment terms

  • No early repayment fees

  • ScotGov funded

Check eligibility and apply online.

VAT reduction

VAT in the hospitality and tourism sectors on food, accommodation and attractions was cut from 20% to 5% until 30 September 2021. 12.5% has now been introduced until 31 March 2022 in order to assist with the transition back to the standard rate of VAT as a means to further assist the most severely impacted businesses.

Read on for more information about this announcement. 

Business rates relief

Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will get 100% rates relief. To get this relief, a property has to be occupied. Properties that have closed temporarily due to the government's coronavirus advice will be treated as occupied.

Relief for the retail, hospitality and leisure and sectors will be available until at least 31 March 2022.

Business rates relief - Applied automatically by local authorities. 

HMRC Time to Pay

Support from HMRC for all businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities. Agreed on a case-by-case basis by HMRC, tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

More information if you cannot pay your tax bill on time.

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme 

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the Statutory Sick Pay paid to current or former employees. Delivered via UK Government.

Find out if you can use the Scheme to claim back employees' coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

Events Industry Specific

Scotland's Events Recovery Fund

Now open for applications. The £2.75 million fund is designed to support the restart of events and help organisers meet the additional costs of COVID-19 mitigation in event planning and delivery. 

For more information on the fund and how to apply, visit the Events Recovery Fund page.

Cultural sector

Creative Scotland Open Fund for Sustaining Creative Development

The fund aims to enable individuals and organisations to explore ways of working that will help them to adapt and respond to the current changing circumstances. The fund is open all year round, with no deadlines and can support activity for up to 12 months.

Fund administered by Creative Scotland. Find out more on the Creative Scotland website.



Schemes closed

What's covered

How to access

Days Out Incentive Fund 

The £4 million Days Out Incentive Fund was intended to support the recovery of tourism businesses following the pandemic and to encourage footfall to visitor attractions and experiences across Scotland in the off-season. 


Inbound Operator Collaborative Marketing Fund 

The Inbound Operator Collaborative Marketing Fund focused on pandemic recovery and aimed to enable eligible Destination Management Companies / Tour Operators based in Scotland to develop and market responsible tourism to and around Scotland from international visitors; encourage international tour operators to add responsible travel into their programmes; and support the recovery of the tourism sector in line with Tourism 2030 strategy and Scotland’s ambition to be a Responsible Tourism Destination.


Touring Fund for Theatre and Dance

This round of the Touring Fund was to support the touring sector to re-engage with audiences, delivered through partnerships between touring artists/companies in conventional and non-conventional formats and staging. 


Scotland Loves Local Fund 

The Scotland Loves Local Fund's obective was to encourage people to think local first, and support businesses and enterprises in their community. The fund provided match funding of between £5,000 and £25,000 for projects run by groups like town centre partnerships, chambers of commerce or community and charity trusts.


Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

This scheme was intended for self-employed individuals or members of a partnership who had been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The fifth grant was open to claims from mid-July to 30 September. 


COVID-19 Marine and Outdoor Tourism Restart Fund: Round Two 

This Fund was intended to provide support to marine and outdoor tourism businesses who have been significantly affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19).   

Round Two was to specifically support Scottish-based businesses in the marine and outdoor tourism sector that have faced hardship due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and to help keep them in business as they recommence operations. 


DigitalBoost Development Grant Fund

The DigitalBoost Development Grant Fund provides support to businesses to utilise digital technologies and enhance workforce skills. It offers small to medium-sized businesses grants, on a 50/50 investment basis, worth between £2,500 and £20,000. 


Taxi and Private Hire Driver and Operator Support Fund

This fund is for licensed taxi or private hire drivers and operators in Scotland, who are experiencing financial challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Your local authority will automatically pay the grant to you if you are an eligible driver or will contact you directly if you are a taxi operator. Operator applications were to be returned to the respective local authority by close of play on 23 July 2021.


Destination and Sector Marketing Fund 

The objective of the Destination & Sector Marketing Fund is to encourage Destination and Sector groups to collaborate to develop strong visitor propositions that are reflective of identified post-COVID-19 trends. 

The total value of the Fund is £3 million. This Fund is part of a wider Scottish Government support package linked to the Tourism Task Force Recovery plan and is being delivered by VisitScotland. 


Scotland Coach Operators – COVID-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund - Strand Two

Following feedback from industry and recognising a funding gap for coach operators with a lower percentage of turnover from coach tourism/private coach hire, the fund has been created to support Scottish based businesses in the coach tourism and coach private hire sector that are facing hardship due to the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.


Support for nightclubs and soft play

One-off grants of up to £50,000 will be available to businesses in both sectors through the COVID-19 Contingency Fund. Grants will be based on rateable value.


Brewers Support Fund

This fund is to support Scotland's brewing sector. This fund will be administered through local authorities (your local council)  and will provide one-off grants of up to £30,000 to eligible businesses.


Support for Indoor Football Centres

The Scottish Government is providing funding support for Indoor Football Centres in Scotland. This fund will be administered through local authorities (your local council) and will provide one-off grants of up to £25,000 to eligible businesses. If you haven’t been contacted by your local authority, please contact your local authority directly. 


Community and Third Sector Recovery Programme

The Community and Third Sector Recovery Programme is aimed at charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations that are supporting people and communities through lockdown and recovery


Ski Centre Support Fund 

A £3 million fund will be made available to support snowsport centres


Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers

These funds are to support freelance creative professionals working in the arts and creative sector in Scotland. It is specifically for those who are experiencing immediate financial difficulty due to the loss of income as a result of COVID-19.

These roles include those whose work has direct creative outcomes as well as those who directly support the making and presentation of creative work.


Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund

This grant scheme is designed to help alleviate financial hardship for newly self-employed people, offering a one-off £4,000 payment for those whose status as being newly self-employed makes them ineligible for the UK Government’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme.


Regional Food Fund 

The Regional Food Fund offers grants of up to £5,000 to support projects and initiatives that promote the development of food and drink across Scotland. The funding is aligned to the Food Tourism Scotland Action Plan and is part of the Scotland Food & Drink Partnership’s Recovery Plan, supported by Scottish Government.


Support for Travel Agents

This fund is to support travel agents in Scotland. This fund will be administered through local authorities (your local council) and will provide one-off grants of up to £25,000 to eligible businesses. Local authorities will contact travel agents in their area directly.


Exclusive Use Grant

This fund provides financial support for exclusive use properties impacted by the single household restrictions during COVID-19. Local authorities will identify and invite eligible businesses to register for payment from 15 February 2021. There is no need to apply.


Support for Small Accommodation Providers Paying Council Tax Fund

This Fund supports small accommodation providers in Scotland that pay council tax, including B&Bs, guest houses and self-catering properties impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.

All B&Bs, self-catering businesses and guest houses that were previously supported by either the Bed and Breakfast Hardship Fund or the Creative, Tourism and Hospitality Hardship Fund are automatically eligible for support under this scheme.


Large Self-Catering Grant

This fund is for larger self-catering properties impacted by the single household restrictions during COVID-19. The grant will make one-off payments of £2,000 to eligible applicants. Local authorities will identify and invite eligible businesses to register for payment. There is no need to apply.


Coronavirus Resilience and Recovery Fund for Legal Aid

You can apply for a grant from the Scottish Government’s Coronavirus Resilience and Recovery Fund to enable Scottish legal firms and law centres to continue to offer legal aid services to the public. This fund is targeted at those who have seen a reduction in new business, the projected value of which has not been fully met by other forms of support.


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.


Strategic Framework Business Fund

This fund is for Scottish businesses required to close by law as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. It replaced the Coronavirus Restrictions Fund that covered closures in October 2020.



SDS Apprenticeship Employer Grant

A new Apprenticeship Employer Grant was available to further support employers when taking on Modern or Graduate Apprentices within their business. 

Applications for the Apprentice Employer Grant have now closed. However, there's a range of help and support available to employers to take on an apprentice. Find out more on the Skills Development Scotland website


Bounce Back Loan Scheme

The Scheme helps smaller businesses access finance quickly during the coronavirus pandemic. Small and medium-sized businesses can apply for loans between £2000 and up to 25% of their turnover, with a maximum of £50,000.

The scheme was open until 31 March 2021.


Scotland Tour Operator Fund

The fund was open to Scottish based businesses in the tour operator sector critical to Scotland’s tourism economy. The two strands were: 

  • Scotland Inbound Tour Operators - COVID-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund  

  • Scotland Day Tour Operators - COVID-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund


Campervan & Motorhome Rental Operators Fund

The £1 million fund aimed to help keep campervan and motorhome rental operators in business while restrictions on opening and travel are still in place, and to support them to prepare to operate in 2021 when restrictions are lifted. 


Hostel COVID-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund: strand two

Following feedback from industry and recognising a funding gap for larger hostels in Scotland, a second strand of the fund has been created to support hostels in Scotland with a rateable value above £51,000 who were not eligible for the first strand of funding.


Scotland's Tour Guides Fund

The £3 million fund was established to provide financial support to Scottish businesses in the attractions sector that have been severely affected by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, to help keep them in business while restrictions on opening and travel are still in place, and to support them to prepare to operate in 2021 when restrictions are lifted. 


Hostel COVID-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund: strand one

The £2.3 million fund is open to proprietors of hostel businesses. They may be a sole trader, a partnership, a company limited by shares or by guarantee, a registered charity, a Scottish limited partnership or any other legal entity recognised under Scots Law. It supports hostels in Scotland with a rateable below £51,000.


Events Industry Support Fund 2 

The £3.9 million fund was delivered by VisitScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government, with development input from the Event Industry Advisory Group (EIAG).

The Fund is open to new applicants who were ineligible to apply to the Events Industry Support Fund launched in August 2020.


The Scotland Coach Operators – COVID-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund

The Scotland Coach Operators – COVID-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund was established to provide financial support for Scottish for Scottish based businesses.


Scottish Visitor Attractions Support Fund 

The fund was established to provide financial support to Scottish businesses in the attractions sector that have been severely affected by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, to help keep them in business while restrictions on opening and travel are still in place, and to support them to prepare for reopening in 2021 when restrictions are lifted. 


Marine and Outdoor Tourism Restart Fund 

The Marine & Outdoor Tourism Restart Fund was established to support the marine, boating and outdoor adventure sectors who have been significantly affected by COVID-19 and are faced with seasonal re-commissioning and re-start costs ahead of the 2021 season.   

The £2.5 million fund is being delivered by VisitScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government and has been developed with Wild Scotland and Sail Scotland. 


Pivotal Event Business Fund

The Pivotal Event Businesses Fund has been established to provide financial support to event businesses critical to Scotland’s events sector and without whom our capacity to deliver major events would be significantly reduced.

Applicants can apply for grants from £25,000 up to a maximum £150,000. 


Sector & Destination Operational and Market Readiness Fund (COVID-19)

The Sector & Destination Operational and Market Readiness Fund provides support for established multi-regional or pan-Scotland tourism sector groups and destination organisations who represent the interests of a substantive number of tourism businesses and stakeholders within their destination and sector and whose role is critical to the ongoing success of the tourism industry in Scotland to prepare for a post-COVID-19 environment.


Travelling Show People Support Fund

The Travelling Showpeople Fund offered one-off grants of £10,000 to support travelling show people in Scotland whose work and income has been negatively affected by COVID-19.


Culture Collective Fund

The Culture Collective programme established a network of creative practitioners, organisations and communities, working together to create a positive difference locally and nationally in response to COVID-19.


Hotel Recovery Programme

Help protect sustainable employment in the medium term within larger hotels in Scotland.

This programme consisted of £14 million funding from the Scottish Government, plus bespoke packages of wrap-around business support provided by Scotland’s enterprise agencies and their partners.


VAT deferral

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

CLOSED. 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

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support Scheme for Self-Catering Businesses

Applications for the new Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support Scheme for Self-Catering Businesses, which will be administered by VisitScotland, was live for one week from 3 August.

The fund was available for businesses who haven’t received any support via other funds as a result of the current pandemic. Applicants will be eligible to receive a one-off grant of £10,000.


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.

CLOSED. Summary of applications and grant statistics.

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.

CLOSED. Summary of applications and grant statistics.


Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund

New support announced for the newly self-employed and firms suffering hardship in a £100 million fund. 
This fund will be channelled 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.

CLOSED. Summary of applications and grant statistics.

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. 


Wellbeing scheme

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


Eat Out to Help Out Scheme

Restaurants could use the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme to offer a 50% discount to diners, up to a maximum of £10 per person, every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 3 to 31 August 2020. Businesses could then claim the money back from the government.

CLOSED Find out how to claim the reimbursement for discounts given to diners with the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme.

Small Business Support Fund

The Scottish Government 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 could benefit.

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

CLOSED Find out more on grant closures and application deadlines

Events sector recovery package

A funding package of £10 million has been established to help the events sector recover from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This includes a £6 million Events Industry Support Fund open to businesses in the events industry, and particularly those in the supply chain, that can demonstrate events in Scotland are their primary source of income.

Businesses that have not yet been able to access any of the previous government support mechanisms will be prioritised.

CLOSED Find further details on the criteria and fund. Applications closed at noon on Monday 14 September.

Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund

Creative Scotland is administering the recently announced £15m Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund which will support organisations that provide opportunities for cultural engagement and who have been unable to trade due to the impact of COVID-19.

The fund will open for applications on Thursday 17 September and awards will be made by the first week in November.


Coronavirus Restrictions Fund

One-off grants of up to £3,000, depending on rateable value, to bars, restaurants and other businesses required to close by regulations.

A hardship fund with grants of up to £1,500 will support some businesses that remain open but are directly impacted by the restrictions, including those in the direct supply chains of firms that must close from 9 October.

Up to £9 million of funding will help with the costs of re-furloughing staff by supporting the 20% salary contribution required by the UK Government.

A discretionary fund of up to £11 million will help businesses that need support but don’t fall into the above categories.

Local authority websites will be updated at 9am on Tuesday 20 October, allowing business to complete applications and will close on Tuesday 3 November at 5pm.


Museum Recovery and Resilience Fund

This fund comes from the £97 million package of funding to protect Scotland’s culture and heritage sectors from the impacts of COVID-19.

The fund is intended to prevent museums from running out of funds before 31 March 2021.


Aberdeen | Local restrictions business support fund

A £1 million support fund for businesses in Aberdeen. The fund is delivered by Aberdeen City Council and it will provide grants of up to £1,500 for hospitality businesses that have been required to close.

A small part of the fund will also be used to help other businesses which – while they have been able to remain open – have felt the financial impact of the restrictions. For example – supply chain businesses, certain hotels or shops.


Scottish Country Sports Tourism Restart Fund

The fund has been established to support the Scottish country sports tourism sector to survive the impacts of COVID-19. It's aimed at providing lifeline support to sporting agencies, guided sporting services, land-based sporting businesses and fishing charter operators.


Scottish Wedding Industry Fund

A £25 million fund to support the wedding sector and its supply chain will open to applications this week.

The fund will provide one-off grants of up to £25,000 for eligible businesses in the sector impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including wedding venues, photographers, caterers and suppliers.

The fund is managed regionally by South of Scotland Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. 


DigitalBoost Development Grant Fund

This £10 million fund was open to Scottish businesses to help them do more with
digital in these challenging times. Funded by The Scottish Government in conjunction with Business Gateway and its DigitalBoost programme.
Businesses who are VAT registered can apply for grants of up to £25K.


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. 


Museums and Galleries Scotland Recovery and Resilience Fund

Independent museums can apply for support to help them recover from the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. This funding will support operating costs and projects that build resilience and sustainability.

Awards will be made between 12 and 31 March 2021 and all funds must be spent by award recipients by 30 June 2021.


Better Places Green Recovery Fund

Awards of between £5,000 and £20,000 are being offered to successful NGO or community-led projects which will help to plan for the future management of nature sites in a low-impact and sustainable way, improving the experience for both visitors and local communities.


Zoo and Aquarium Animal Welfare Fund

The Scottish Government is offering funding for zoos and aquariums in Scotland which are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19). You may be able to apply for a 0% unsecured loan or grant of up to £100,000 to pay for three months of animal care costs.



Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund: Round 2

Round 2 of the Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund will provide emergency funding to help performing arts venues remain solvent during the pandemic. It will also provide support for the return of staff from furlough and new artistic commissions from freelance artists.


Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund: Round 2

The purpose of this fund is to offer further support to Round 1 recipients and also to help eligible organisations that didn’t receive funding in the first round. The fund is intended to support organisations which are vital to the cultural life of Scotland, but which need financial support to prevent insolvency and/or significant job losses due to COVID-19.



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