Business support and advice


COVID-19: Route Map Extension Restrictions Fund 

On 22 June 2021 the Scottish Government announced that local authorities will be kept at their current Protection Levels (PL) for an additional three-week period with effect from 28 June with the next review on 13 July. Additional financial support will be offered for eligible businesses that are subject to ongoing restrictions at Protection Levels 1 and 2 as a result of the extension of the Routemap and that were previously in receipt of support through the Strategic Framework Business Fund.

Protection Levels 1 or 2 apply from 28 June 2021. Local authorities are asked to process the first payments to businesses by 2 July 2021(and weekly thereafter, as appropriate). Grant eligibility is found within the Documents section of this page. 

Eligibility for support through this fund is predicated on whether a business has previously been in receipt of financial support through the Strategic Framework Business Fund. A local authority may, however, apply discretion in awarding a grant to a business that did not previously access the Strategic Framework Business Fund despite otherwise meeting the eligibility criteria and is impacted by restrictions in place at Protection Levels 1 or 2.

To be eligible for financial support through this fund a business must be operating in a local authority area where there are PL1 and PL2 restrictions beyond the 28 June 2021 and which are required to close or specifically required to modify their operations as a result of the restrictions in place.

Hospitality premises include restaurants, including restaurants and dining rooms in hotels or members’ clubs; cafes; bars, including bars in hotels or members’ clubs; and public houses. They do not include accommodation premises where these features are not present. Members’ clubs may include social or sports clubs with a liquor licence. Wet pubs and those that serve food are both included.

Only businesses that have previously received financial support through the Strategic Framework Business Fund are eligible for a grant through this scheme.

This support applies to restriction levels which apply with effect from 28 June 2021, grants will not be backdated prior to this period.

Where a premises has mixed use it is eligible for a single grant based on the main business activity for the premises.

Retail businesses as well as accommodation providers that are not impacted by hospitality regulations are not eligible for support through this fund.



COVID-19 Discretionary fund 2nd phase has closed to new applications


Coronavirus (Covid-19): Business Support - Small Accommodation Providers Paying Council Tax Fund is now closed.

The Small Accommodation Providers Paying Council Tax Fund has closed to new applications.


Strategic Framework Business Fund

The Strategic Framework Business Fund has closed to new applications.

On 19th April 2021, all Strategic Framework Business Fund recipients will automatically receive a combined final two-week supplement and a one-off restart grant to help them reopen.  To find out more about the combined supplement and restart grant due on 19th April see the link to the Scottish Government “Strategic Framework supplement and a one-off restart grant” within the Other Websites section of this page.


Hospitality, Retail and Leisure Sector Top-up payments

The Top Up Payment scheme is now closed.


If you do not agree with the outcome of your application

If you do not agree with the outcome of your grant application you can ask for the decision to be reviewed.  Review requests should be sent by email by Friday 9th April 2021 giving the reason you do not agree to  The decision will be reviewed by a senior officer and you will be informed of the outcome. 


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

  • The closing date for claims up to and including 31 October remains 30 November 2020.
  • Claims from 1 November 2020 must be submitted by 11.59pm 14 calendar days after the month you’re claiming for. If this time falls on the weekend then claims should be submitted on the next working day.
  • If you are claiming for a period that starts on or after 1 November 2020, then you can only claim for furloughed employees that were employed and on payroll on 30 October 2020. This means you must have made a PAYE RTI submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee. This may differ where you have made employees redundant, or they stopped working for you on or after 23 September 2020 and you have subsequently re-employed them.

Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)

  • If you already have a Bounce Back Loan but borrowed less than you were entitled to, you can top up your existing loan to your maximum amount. You must request the top-up by 31 January 2021.
  • The top-ups are only available from a borrower’s existing BBLS lender. A borrower can apply for a top-up that is for the lesser of £50k or 25% of the annual turnover the borrower certified in their original successful BBLS application form, minus the value of their original loan.

Coronavirus Business Contingency Fund: Phase 1

  • Eligibility criteria has been updated to clarify that ALEOs are not eligible.

Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers 

  • Applications to the fund have now reopened
  • Bursaries can be requested for any sum from £500 - £2000. If you have specific access needs, then you may request more than this.
  • The fund does not have a published deadline – but will only remain open for as long as the funds are available with each of the partners. Creative Scotland therefore encourage applicants to apply as early as possible.

Screen Hardship Fund

  • Applications to the fund have now reopened via Screen Scotland
  • Applicants can apply for a Hardship bursary of up to £2,000. You may request more than £2,000 if your request includes access.

Youth Arts Access Fund

  • Applications close midnight, Thursday 12 November. This fund has now been removed from the summary document.
  • All applicants will be notified of decisions by 9 February 2021

Community Response, Recovery & Resilience Fund

  • The fund will be moving to the Resilience phase on 1st December. The fund's priorities will focus on supporting organisations with their long-term planning, helping them become more sustainable in the future, despite the continued uncertainty.
  • More information on the Resilience phase will be published late November. Whilst the fund moves into the final phase, please be assured that the fund will not close at any time.

Creative, Tourism & Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund - THIS APPLICATION HAS NOW CLOSED 


Business Gateway Inverclyde

Business Gateway is being responsive and reactive to the needs and challenges Scottish businesses face due to the Covid-19 (coronavirus).  Plans are being put in place to deliver a virtual advisory and workshop service where possible.

Advisers can offer free support with a wide range of business matters including continuity planning, managing cashflow, HR and dealing with suppliers.

The local number for Inverclyde is 01475 779327.

Rental relief available for businesses

Businesses renting properties from Inverclyde Council could have their rental payments deferred for up to 24 months covering the period of government restrictions in which they are unable to trade as normal. This offer has been introduced to support businesses struggling with the effects of coronavirus (covid-19).

A deferral would result in invoices continuing to be issued in normal terms however the repayment of the invoices could be spread over a fixed period, negotiated with the lessee of up to 24 months from date of issue. This relieves the immediate burden on cash flow on the business but still ensures that the terms of the lease are fulfilled.

Social distancing guidance for business

The Scottish Government has issued updated social distancing guidance for businesses in Scotland to help provide clarity on protecting employees in the fight against coronavirus (covid-19).

It provides further information for employers and makes clear that those providing essential services must follow social distancing requirements.

It asks that the owners of businesses and operators of workplaces not required to close by law to consider whether what they do is essential to the efforts in the fight against the virus or benefit the wellbeing of society.

It also asks those employers if they can demonstrate and provide their workforces with reassurance that they are consistently practising safe social distancing and complying with all other standard health and safety requirements.

If the answer to either of these questions is no, workplaces are advised to close.

The guidance is published at: (cut and paste this link or use the link on this page)

Construction sector guidance

There is a link on this page to guidance on construction sites and associated works that can continue under specific conditions issued by the Scottish Government.