Funding for business

Help and Support for businesses during the COVID-19 restrictions

This page will be revised as quickly as possible in response to Government updates.  If you have an enquiry, please email 

Discretionary Business Support Grant

This funding was potentially available for businesses and self-employed people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic who had not previousy been eligible for any Government support. 

Applications closed at 5pm on Friday 5 March 2021. We will update this page with any further information when it becomes available.

Strategic Framework Business Fund

The Scottish Government Coronavirus (COVID-19) Strategic Framework Business Fund and hospitality, retail and leisure sector top-up grants are being administered by Local Authorities.

If your business is legally required to close, you may be eligible to apply for a grant from the Strategic Framework Business Fund.

From Saturday 26 December 2020, East Lothian is in Level 4.

Under Level 4 restrictions, businesses directly impacted, and specifically mentioned in Schedule 5 Level 4 of The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions and Requirements) (Local Levels) (Scotland) Regulations 2020, may be eligible for a Business Temporary Closure Grant.

Business Temporary Closure Grant

Premises with a Rateable Value of up to and including £51,000 may receive a grant of £2,000.  Premises with a Rateable Value of £51,001 and over may receive a grant of £3,000. 

Grants are payable every four weeks in arrears for the duration protective measures are in place.

An upper four-weekly limit of £15,000 in grants applies to eligible businesses operating multiple premises.

A separate application form is required for each qualifying premises.

For applications received after 12:00pm on 22 January 2021, payment will be made at the end of February, date to be confirmed.

Eligibility criteria:

  • your business is required by law to close for the duration protective measures are in place
  • your business was trading on 2 November 2020
  • you have a dedicated business bank account (you will be required to provide your bank account details as part of the application process)
  • your business premises are registered for Business Rates (if you pay rates through your landlord rather than directly to the Council, you are still eligible to apply but must provide evidence of this arrangement through copy of your lease agreement)
  • your business has not breached wider COVID regulations/requirements prior to local restrictions being implemented on 2 November 2020
  • your business is not connected to a tax haven, as set out in the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No. 2) Act 2020
  • the premises you are applying for are located in East Lothian
  • your business sector is listed in the Eligible Sectors table below

Business Sectors Eligible and Ineligible for a Business Temporary Closure Grant

Business Temporary Closure Grant
Eligible Sectors
Level 4

Business Temporary Closure Grant
Ineligible Sectors
Level 4


Hotels, B&Bs, self-catering, caravan and camp sites.



Restaurants, cafes, pubs, bars, social clubs.



Non-essential retail


  • Food retailers, including food markets, supermarkets, convenience stores and corner shops
  • Off licenses and licensed shops selling alcohol (including breweries)
  • Pharmacies (including non-dispensing pharmacies) and chemists
  • Newsagents
  • Petrol Stations, Car Repair and MOT Services, Bicycle Shops, Taxi or
    Vehicle Hire Businesses
  • Banks, Building Societies, Credit Unions, Short-term Loan Providers, Savings Clubs, Cash Points and undertakings which by way of business operate a currency exchange office, transmit money (or any representation of money) by any means or cash cheques which are made payable to customers
  • Post Offices
  • Funeral Directors
  • Laundrettes and Dry Cleaners
  • Dental Services, Opticians, Audiology Services, Chiropody Services, Chiropractors, Osteopaths and other medical or health services, including services relating to mental health
  • Veterinary Surgeons and Pet Shops
  • Agricultural Supplies Shops and Agricultural Markets
  • Storage and Distribution Facilities, including delivery drop off or collection points, where the facilities are in the premises of a business included in this sub-paragraph.
  • Car Parks
  • Public Toilets, Livestock Markets or Auctions

Close Contact Services

Hairdressers, Barbers, Beauticians, Tailors


Sports and Exercise

Indoor Gyms, Swimming Pools, Dance Studios, Exercise Class/Yoga Studios.


Leisure and Entertainment

Cinemas, Arcades, Soft play, Funfairs, Indoor Bowling, Theatres, Comedy Clubs, Sports Stadiums, Conference or Exhibition Centres, Snooker/Pool Halls, Music Venues, Casinos, Bingo Halls, Nightclubs.


Visitor Attractions



Apply for a Strategic Framework Business Support Grant 

Support for Small Accommodation Providers Paying Council Tax Fund

This fund is to support small accommodation providers that pay Council Tax, including B&Bs, guest houses and self-catering properties, and which have been impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.

All B&Bs, self-catering businesses and guest houses that were previously supported by either the Bed & Breakfast Hardship Fund or the Creative Tourism and Hospitality Fund are automatically eligible for support under this scheme.  

We will contact these businesses to register for payment.  There is no need to contact us.

All businesses must be re-registered by 22 March 2021 to receive payment.  Payments will be made as soon as possible once a business is registered.

Applications will open for new entrants to the fund on 15 March 2021.  The fund will be open for one week, and will close to applications on 22 March 2021.  More information to follow.

Exclusive Use Grant

This fund provides financial support for exclusive use properties in Scotland that have been impacted by the single household restrictions during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  Exclusive use businesses are eligible for one-off grants of £10,000 if they:

  • pay non-domesic rates
  • have been evaluated by the Scottish Assessors Association as an "exclusive use venue" providing overnight accommodation in their main building, in lodges at the property, or a combination of both.

We will identify and invite eligible businesses to register for payment from 15 February 2021.  There is no need to apply.  This additional grant does not affect your eligibility for the Strategic Framework Business Fund.

Large Self Catering Grant

This fund is for larger self-catering properties in Scotland that have been impacted by the single household restrictions during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

Self-catering businesses are eligible if they have a property which accommodates seven or more people, and for which they pay non-domestic rates.  The number of bed spaces will be linked to records held by the Rates Assessors.  A property must have been recorded as having seven or more bed spaces by the Assessor on 1 January 2021 to be eligible.

We will identify and invite eligible businesses to register for payment.  There is no need to apply.  This additional grant does not impact on your eligibility for the Strategic Framework Business Fund.

Support for Bed and Breakfasts Paying Council Tax Grant

This fund will provide bed and breakfasts (B&Bs) that pay council tax, but not non-domestic rates, with financial support equivalent to the Strategic Framework Business Fund Level 4 payments.  This amounts to grants of £2,000 every four weeks.

B&Bs in Scotland that do not pay non-domestic rates, but do pay Council tax are eligible.  The grants are only available to "registered serviced accommodation".  

Payments will be made every four weeks from the start of January 2021.  This will cover the period of Level 4 restrictions which came into effect from 26 December 2020, and the ongoing period as long as Level 4 restrictions are in place.  This grant is not retrospectively backdated to 2 November 2020.

We will identify and invite eligible businesses to register for payment from 15 February 2021.  You do not need to apply.

Other sources of grants and funding:

Digital Enablement Loan

The Digital Enablement Loan is a Scottish Government initiative to provide loans to Scottish SMEs who wish to improve their digital capabilities and capacity.

  • borrow between £5k - £100k
  • interest free
  • up to 5 years repayment terms
  • no early repayment fees

For more information, eligibility and application process.

East Lothian Investments Ltd

ELI Ltd is a not-for-profit company, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, providing interest-free loans to East Lothian businesses.  It is managed by a Fund Manager and governed by a Board of Directors.

  • companies must be based within East Lothian
  • loans can be applied for up to £15,000 and are interest-free with a 5% arrangement fee
  • applications can be for any purpose, except debt repayment
  • loans awarded will normally be re-paid over a term of 48 months
  • open to businesses at all stages and all sectors and types of businesses, including start up
  • upfront repayment holiday may be available, if required

More information, including applicant guidance and application available visit East Lothian Investments.

North Berwick Trust grants

North Berwick Trust is offering grants to hard-hit businesses based in North Berwick to help them survive the COVID-19 emergency.  Grants of up to £5,000 will be awarded every month for at least the next 6 months, depending on COVID-19 developments.  Further information and application details are here.

Bounce Back Loan Scheme

Small businesses can apply for a 100% government-backed Bounce Back Loan.  Businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days.  Loans will be interest free for the first 12 months.  Closing date is 31 March 2021.  For details on eligibility and how to apply.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

This loan scheme supports SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years.  This scheme will close on 31 March 2021.  You should apply via your lenders website or through one of the accredited lenders and partners offering the scheme in Scotland.

BT Small Business Support Scheme

BT has introduced a range of new measures to help small business boost their connectivity, cash flow and confidence.  Find out more.