Coronavirus Newly Self Employed Hardship Fund

Applications for this scheme closed at 5pm on Friday 10th July 2020 as specified by the Scottish Government and no new applications will be accepted after that time.

This fund can provide a one off grant of £2,000 for the newly self-employed who are facing hardship as a result of COVID-19 and who are not able to access other COVID-19 support.  The fund is administered by Argyll and Bute Council in line with eligibility criteria set by the Scottish Government. To be eligible to apply you must be able to answer yes to all of the following questions:

  • You became self-employed on or after 6 April 2019 and before 1 April 2020, and did not submit a tax return including income from self-employment for 2018-19
  • Over 50% of your individual income is from self-employment
  • Your trading profits were below £50,000 in the financial year 2019-20
  • You can provide evidence of active trading up to March 2020 and intend to continue trading in the tax year 2020-21
  • You have lost business due to coronavirus and are experiencing personal financial hardship as a result
  • You are ineligible for other COVID-19 related business support (including the Business Interruption Loan Schemes, Corporate Finance Fund, Job Retention Schemes, Future Fund, R&D Focussed SMEs Fund, HMRC Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, Non-Domestic Rates relief, Small Business Grant or other business support)
  • You do not receive working age benefit payments (Universal Credit, Statutory Sick Pay, Employment and Support Allowance, Job Seekers’ Allowance, Income Support) or have applied for but have not yet started receiving Universal Credit or an advanced payment of Universal Credit
  • You trade as self-employed not as a limited company or partnership. If in a partnership, you are self-employed for pay and tax purposes
  • You have taken steps to limit your costs and expenditure, including through schemes such as VAT deferral and seeking a mortgage payment holiday
  • You do not have access to sufficient savings or other sources of income to meet your basic needs

Application is via an online form and you will not be able to submit an application if you do not meet the criteria.

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

Proof of your identity – such as a valid passport or driving licence

Proof of your address - recent council tax bill or utility bill

Bank statements: Bank statements (business or personal) covering 3 months to March 2020 showing income and outgoings from self-employment

Evidence of active trading:   You must provide evidence for any two of the following :

  • An active supplier or reseller trade account (eg documentation or a statement showing a trading account with a wholesaler, an eBay seller account, Amazon Business, Etsy, etc)
  • Valid business insurance in the trading name of the business or name of the applicant (eg insurance certificate)
  • HMRC Unique Taxpayer Reference. If not yet registered a copy of correspondence showing registration is being sought can be accepted. (This should be a letter or electronic communication)
  • VAT Registration Number (This should be a letter or electronic communication)
  • Marketing materials for your business (eg link to business website or link to business social media showing content for the trading period covered)
  • Other evidence of business activity to support your claim (eg correspondence with customers or suppliers, testimonials, or a photograph of a  vehicle bearing your business name that matches the trading name in your application)

Please note -  When uploading these documents with your application, the maximum file size for each document is 4mb. If your files are more than 4mb 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 4mb, 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 successfully submitted your application form  to us for 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.

The Council will strive to meet the target of processing all fully completed 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 bank account within 5 working days.

The closing date for the fund has been set to 5pm on 10th July 2020.

Further information

For further information about applying for this grant, please refer to these Frequently Asked Questions before making your application

If you have any questions please contact the Council’s Coronavirus Caring for People Helpline Service on 01546 605524 and select option 2 (Business Related Help) followed by option 2 (Applying to the Self-Employed Hardship Fund) or email sehf@argyll-bute.gov.uk.