Strategic Framework Business Fund

The Scottish Government has committed additional grant funding for those businesses required to close or directly impacted by restrictions under their new Strategic Framework. These are being made available as two separate funds – the Business Temporary Closure Fund, and the Business Restrictions Fund.

These funds are now live for applications on the Highland Council website. Full details of eligibility criteria and the application process are available at that link, and we have summarised the key details below. It was announced on 11/01/21 that an additional one off grant payment is available to businesses in hospitality, retail & leisure. Eligibility for these grants follows the same criteria as the Strategic Framework Business Fund as detailed below, and those who have successfully applied for a Temporary Closure Grant or Business Restrictions Grant should receive an automatic top-up – for the majority, this will be combined with the next four-weekly tranche of payments on 25 January. Read more about the extension of support for hospitality, retail & leisure here. 

Both funds will provide grants every four weeks in arrears for as long as protective measures are in place.

Until such time as the Level 4 protection levels are removed, eligible businesses will be able to apply for a Temporary Closure Grant. No businesses will be eligible for a Business Restriction Grant during this period. Once protection levels drop and Highland moves to a lower level, then a mix of Temporary Closure and Business Restriction grants will be available depending on whether the business is required to remain closed or whether it can operate in a restricted way.

Eligible businesses who have already applied for and have secured a Business Restriction Grant (for period 2 November to 26 December 2020) do not need to now apply for a Temporary Closure Grant or any future Business Restriction Grant.

Likewise, once a business applies for and is awarded a Temporary Closure Grant they will not then need to make a fresh application for any future Business Restriction Grant once the protection levels are eased. The Council will automatically assess eligibility and make payments every four weeks in arrears.

Businesses who were eligible for a Business Restriction Grant during the period 2 November 2020 to 26 December 2020 but who have not yet applied for the grant, do not need to make a separate application. They are asked to complete a Strategic Framework Business Fund application form and the Council will automatically assess and make a grant payment if the business is eligible.

Business Temporary Closure Fund

Available to businesses required to close by law, this Fund will provide grants of either £2,000 or £3,000 (depending on rateable value).

  • £2,000 for premises with a Rateable Value up to and including £51,000
  • £3,000 for premises with a Rateable Value of £51,001 and above

Business Restrictions Fund

Available to businesses that are able to remain open but are legally required to close earlier than normal, this Fund will provide grants of £1,400 or £2,100 (depending on rateable value).
*Please note that The Highland Council received confirmation from The Scottish Government on Tuesday 24th November that licensed hotels are eligible for the Business Restriction Grant.

Supporting Evidence Required

Once you have established that your business is eligible to apply – please note you must check the full eligibility criteria – ensure you have the following evidence to hand in support of your application:

  • Rates reference number – this can be found either on the front of your bill or by searching the Scottish Assessors Association website.
  • Proof of bank details – including account name, sort code, account number, dated within 3 months of the application date
  • If you pay rates through a landlord, a copy of your lease agreement

You can apply online at the Highland Council website. At the current time the Scottish Government have advised that applications can be made up to 31 March 2021.

Given the uncertainty associated with the pandemic and the fact that Highland will move down/up levels within Scotland’s Strategic Framework, and that grants may be made every four weeks, the Council urges eligible businesses to apply as soon as possible.

If you have any queries that are not dealt with on the website or if you are having difficulty completing the application form, please contact COVID-19grantenquiries@highland.gov.uk.

Page updated 15/01/2021