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 economicdevelopment@eastlothian.gov.uk 

Business Support Recovery Investment Funding

This fund is now closed.

Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Driver and Operator Support Fund

If you are a licensed taxi or private hire driver experiencing financial challenges as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, and who previously received a one-off grant of £1,500, you may now be eligible for a second grant payment.

For the driver element

For the driver element, we will make a payment of a further £1,500 to all drivers who previously received a grant under the Taxi and Private Hire Driver Support Fund.

For the operator element

Amounts payable will be differentiated and scaled, with a base grant payable to owner-operators with one vehicle, and higher grants for those operators holding multiple vehicle licences. The grant is payable based on the number of vehicle licences each owner/operator holds as follows:-

  • owner/operators with one vehicle - a single award of £1,000
  • owner/operators with two to nine vehicles - a single award of £3,000
  • owner/operators with 10-49 vehicles - a single award of £7,000; or
  • owner/operators with 50 or more vehicles - a single award of £15,000

How will the grant be provided?

We will administer the grants and will be responsible for delivering the funding and will begin to process payments towards the end of week commencing 7th June 2021, or earlier if possible.  Payments will be made into a business bank account, where possible, and personal accounts.

When will I get this grant?

For the driver element

We will begin to process payments towards the end of week commencing 7 June 2021, or earlier if possible. Payments will be made into a business bank account, where possible, and personal accounts.

For the operator element

We will begin to contact all eligible vehicle licence holders from mid-June to brief them on their potential entitlement and invite them to provide relevant supporting information and bank details.  We will aim to make payments in June/July, subject to receiving any relevant supporting information required, and where the eligibility criteria have all been met.

Payments will be made into a business bank account, where possible, and personal accounts.

Eligibility

For the driver element

The core criteria for the Coronavirus (COVID-19): Taxi and Private Hire Driver Support Fund - gov.scot (www.gov.scot) was as follows:

  • a taxi or private hire driver holding a valid licence for the period 9 October 2020 to at least 31 January 2021;
  • are or have been working or available for work as a taxi or private hire driver; and
  • experienced loss of income (50% of turnover, compared with 2019) and incurred overhead costs and expenses.

For the driver element of the Taxi and Private Hire Driver and Operator Support Fund 2021-22, a one-off grant of £1,500 is payable based on the following criteria:

  • the driver must have previously received a grant from the Taxi and Private Hire Driver Support Fund earlier in 2021; and
  • their local authority taxi or private hire driver licence must remain current and valid as at 3 June 2021.

For the operator element

For the operator element of the Taxi and Private Hire Driver and Operator Support Fund 2021-22 eligibility is based on the following criteria:

  • an individual or company holding a valid taxi or private hire vehicle licence as at 3 June 2021; one claim per vehicle, generally and in particular where a licence is held jointly by a number of individuals; and
  • the operator must have experienced loss of income (50% of turnover, compared with 2019) and incurred overhead costs and expenses.

Other Eligibility Criteria

Both taxi and private hire drivers and taxis and private hire operators applying for support must also meet the following criteria and where necessary supply appropriate documentation to substantiate each.

  • they must not have breached wider COVID regulations/requirements;
  • they must not have connections to tax havens, as set out in the Coronavirus (Scotland) (Nov.) Act 2020; or
  • Applicants may be required to declare all previous support received from UK or Scottish or Local Government support schemes to provide local authorities with the necessary information to ensure payments are made correctly and compliant with EC State Aid limits/UK Government subsidy control policies.

Tax and benefits

Grant income received by a business is taxable. The operator element of the Taxi and Private Hire Driver and Operator Support Fund will need to be included as income in the tax return of the business.

How do I apply?

You do not need to apply – we will get in touch with you by letter, email or other communication method in June.  You should therefore not contact us in the interim as this may divert staff resources form work to deliver prompt payments.

We have been asked to ensure access to information is not wholly online, and that advice is available to individuals if required.

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.

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.