Business support and advice

Taxi and Private Hire Driver Support Fund

For full eligibility criteria and details of how to apply please follow this link: .

Strategic Framework Business Fund

A high volume of applications are being received to the Strategic Framework Business Fund.  Applications will be administered as quickly as possible.   


Hospitality, Retail and Leisure Sector Top-up payments

The Scottish Government has released additional support for the hospitality, retail and leisure sector.  This financial support will offer one-off additional grant support for eligible businesses closed and therefore directly impacted by protective measures from 26th December 2020 at Level 4 of the Strategic Framework.  To be eligible, businesses must have applied for and be entitled to a Level 4 payment from the Strategic Framework Business Fund due on 25th January 2021.   (See below to find out how to apply to the Strategic Framework Business Fund).  Top-up payments will be released to businesses when their payment for the 4 week period ending 25th January 2021 is ready.   Businesses will be notified by email. 

For hospitality businesses, the top up provides:

  • A one-off grant of £25,000 for all hospitality businesses with a rateable value of £51,001 or more;
  • A one-off grant of £6,000 for hospitality and hotel businesses with a rateable value of up to and including £51,000.

Restaurants, bars, pubs, licensed social and sports clubs, cafes and hotels are in scope for the hospitality top up payment. Other accommodation providers (self-catering, B&Bs, guesthouses, campsite, caravan parks, visitors hostels) are not eligible. Self-catering and B&Bs will benefit from their own bespoke funds, as part of the overall additional package announced pre-Christmas.

For retail and leisure businesses (which include indoor gyms and equivalents) the top up provides:

  • A one-off grant of £9,000 for all relevant businesses with a rateable value of £51,001 or more;
  • A one-off grant of £6,000 for relevant businesses with a rateable value of up to and including £51,000.

All non-essential retail closed by law (shop fronts that are closed); close contact premises; sport and exercise (indoor gyms, swimming pools, dance studios, exercise class/yoga studios, indoor football centres);  leisure and entertainment (cinemas, amusement arcades, indoor soft play, indoor bowling, snooker/pool halls, casinos, bingo halls, nightclubs, roller rinks, climbing wall centres, play barns, go-karting centres indoor and outdoor)

LEVEL 4 – Businesses not eligible for Top Up grant as part of Strategic Framework Fund

  • Accommodation (B&Bs, self-catering, caravan and camp sites);
  • Leisure and Entertainment (Funfairs, theatres, concert halls, sport stadiums, conference or exhibition centres);
  • Visitor Attractions (other funding grants are available via Event Scotland and Visit Scotland)


Strategic Framework Business (Closure & Restrictions) Fund

The Strategic Framework Business Fund is a Scottish Government grant fund, linked to Scotland’s Strategic Framework.   If your business is required at any point from 2 November 2020 to close by law or is specifically required to change its operations due to COVID-19 restrictions such as being legally required to close earlier than normal, you may be eligible to apply for grant support. The application form found in the Document section of this page lists eligible businesses according to the Strategic Framework Level.  Grants will be paid every four weeks in arrears as long as restrictions last. 

If you have applied to the Strategic Framework Business Fund since November 2020 and your business has received a payment, you are not required to apply again.  Instead, your application will be reviewed and you will be notified by email about the next payment.    

Businesses that have to adopt physical distancing or where the demand for products or services has been reduced because of the pandemic or other restrictions which impact on individuals and communities are not eligible.

Business Temporary Closure Grant

Premises required to close by law will be entitled to a closure grant of:

  • £2,000 if their premises have a rateable value of up to and including £51,000; or
  • £3,000 if their premises have a rateable value of £51,001 or above.

Business Restrictions Grant

Businesses that remain open but are specifically and legally required to modify their operations as a result of protective measures will be entitled to a hardship grant of:

  • £1,400 if their premises have a rateable value of up to and including £51,000, or
  • £2,100 if their premises have a rateable value of £51,001 or above

Other Qualifying Criteria

  • Your business was trading on 2nd November 2020.
  • Your business is in one of the sectors affected by the current Scottish Government Protection Levels applicable to the Inverclyde Council area, as listed on the application form.
  • Your business premises are registered for Non-Domestic rates. Businesses that pay rates through their landlords rather than directly to a Council are eligible to apply (evidence to be provided through a copy of your lease agreement). 
  • Businesses that have breached wider COVID regulations/requirements prior to the Strategic Framework restrictions being implemented on 2nd November are not eligible. 

How to apply

The application form is found within the Documents section of this page.  Select the IC Strategic Framework Business Fund form. 

Completed applications must be returned by email to: with supporting documents as directed on the form. 

Grants will be paid every four weeks in arrears as long as restrictions last. 

COVID-19 Discretionary Fund - This fund closed to new applicants at 6pm on 20th January 2021.  Applications received before this will now be assessed and applicants will be e-mailed in due course.  If we are able to re-open the Fund, details will be posted here.


Furlough Support Fund

The Furlough Support Fund scheme is now closed. 


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.