Business Hardship Fund - Argyll and Bute

About the Fund

This fund closed to applications at 5pm on Tuesday 3rd November 2020

Business Hardship Fund linked to the Brake Restrictions in force 9 October – 2 November is now closed.  Details of any further funding linked to Level 2 Restrictions will be announced in due course

The purpose of the Scottish Government’s Business Hardship Fund is to provide hardship relief to:

  • hospitality businesses, and gyms unable to operate group classes, who are directly required to operate in a restricted way by the Covid-19 Brake Restrictions which came into effect on 9 October 2020; and
  • producers/wholesale business supplying primarily perishable supplies to hospitality businesses directly required by the Covid-19 Brake Restrictions to close or operate in a restricted way, and who are able to evidence a 25% reduction in turnover during the brake period.
  • Update - 31st October 2020 - Update to Fund Criteria - Hardship grants now open to licensed sports and social clubs- find out more on the Scottish Government website

The Covid-19 Brake Restrictions are specified here

PLEASE NOTE: Within the hospitality sector the fund is ONLY open to those who have been directly required by the Brake Restrictions to restrict their food & drink operations.  Hospitality businesses such as Bed & Breakfasts or Self Catering Accommodation providers who are not directly required to restrict how they operate under the Brake Restrictions are not eligible for this fund.

The Business Hardship Fund can provide non repayable grants of up to £2,155, based on a business’s Rateable Value (RV).  The size of the grant has been increased in line with the extension to the Brake Period. Eligible businesses with a Rateable Value (RV) of up to and including £51,000 can apply for a grant of £1,440 and those with a RV above £51,000 can apply for a grant of £2,155.  If you do not know your Rateable Value you can look this up on the Scottish Assessors website

IMPORTANT: if you have already applied for £1,000 or £1,500 from this Fund, the increase announced by the Scottish Government on 21 October will be automatically applied if your grant is approved. You do not need to re-apply.

The Business Hardship Fund is administered by Argyll and Bute Council for businesses based in Argyll and Bute.  The criteria for the fund have been set by the Scottish Government and the Council does not have any discretion to vary from them.

The Business Hardship Fund closed at 5pm on Tuesday 3rd November.


To be eligible for Business Hardship Fund support you must be able to answer yes to the following:

  • My business falls into one of the following two categories:
    1)  Hospitality businesses and gyms directly required by the Covid-19 Brake Restrictions to operate in a restricted way; 
    2) Producers/wholesale business supplying primarily perishable supplies to hospitality businesses directly 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.
  • I have a dedicated business bank account (you will be required to provide the account details as part of the application process and this is the account your grant will be paid into if successful).
  • My business was trading on 9th October 2020.
  • My business premises are registered for Non-Domestic rates (if you pay rates through your landlord rather than directly to a Council, you are still eligible to apply but must provide evidence of this arrangement through copy of your lease agreement).
  • I can provide evidence of loss of business income due to the Covid-19 Brake Restrictions which came into effect on 9 October 2020.
  • My business has not breached wider COVID regulations/requirements prior to local restrictions being implemented.
  • My business is not connected to a tax haven, as set out in the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No. 2) Act 2020.
  • My business operates within Argyll and Bute and the premises included in this application is located within Argyll and Bute.

If your business operates multiple premises you can apply for a grant for each premise, applying only once to the local authority in which your business is headquartered. The maximum any one business can receive from the Business Hardship Fund is restricted to £14,000, regardless of the number of premises.

Businesses which have breached Brake Restrictions in force from 9 October 2020 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.  Retail and businesses that provide takeaway food as the core and established basis of their operations are not eligible for the Business Hardship Fund.

Application Guidance

Applications to the Business Hardship Fund open on Tuesday 20 October 2020 and closed on Tuesday 3 November 2020 at 5 pm.

Application is via an online form and you will not be able to submit an application if you do not meet the criteria or if you do not provide all of the required information. Please read the following guidance before starting your online application.

You will be asked to upload evidence in support of your application. Before you start please make sure you have a scanned copy or photo of the following available:

  • A Recent bank statement for your business bank account, clearly showing the account name, account number and sort code; and
  • One of either: Certificate of incorporation, Companies House Registration Number, Partnership Agreement, HMRC Registration, Self-Assessment documents, current business insurance document, Trust constitution documents or VAT Registration document
  • For producers/wholesale businesses - Evidence of 25% or more reduction in turnover during the restricted period – One of either: Profit & Loss accounts, invoices & receipts, details of contracts lost, cancelled booking diaries/work schedules, or cancelled customer bookings

Please note when uploading these documents with your application, the maximum file size for each document is 5mb. If your files are more than 5mb in size, you will not be able to attach them to your application, and you won't be able to submit your application successfully. If your scanned images, documents or photos are larger than 5mb, there are many tools and apps available for free that allow you to resize images, and photos can be converted into PDF documents for free using Adobe Acrobat Reader or other online tools.

After you have submitted your application

After you have submitted your online application form to us you should receive an email confirming that your application has been received.  If you have not heard from us please check your email junk or spam folders, and check that your email inbox is not full. Please do not contact us regarding progress with your application unless you have been waiting more than 10 working days. Our normal working days are Monday to Friday. If we have any questions about your application we will normally contact you by email.

Wherever possible the Council aims to process applications within 10 working days from receipt of a fully completed application.  If your application is successful you will be notified by email and a BACS payment should reach your nominated business bank account within 3 working days.

If your application is unsuccessful you will be given the reason by email, along with details of the appeal procedure.  

Further information

For further information about applying for this grant, please refer to this Q&A before making your application

Business Hardship Fund - Questions and Answers (Q&A)

If you still have questions about applying for the grant you can email us or call us on 01546 604 833 Monday to Friday from 9am – 5pm.