Applications Open for Self-Employed and Business Grants

Financial support schemes for newly self-employed workers and close-contact businesses such as hairdressers and driving instructors have opened for applications. Grants worth £4000 will be available through a self-employed hardship fund and a scheme for mobile and home-based businesses unable to trade because they require close contact between people.

The Scottish Government has allocated £60m to the two funds and urged anyone who could be eligible for support to apply.

Finance secretary Kate Forbes said: “These new funds will support harder-to-reach businesses and newly self-employed people across Scotland as we continue to focus our efforts on helping those who are not captured by UK Government schemes.

“We’ve committed more than £3bn to support businesses and protect jobs during the pandemic, and I would encourage all those affected to check what support is available to help them through such a challenging time.”

To be eligible for the Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund, which paid out more than £11m last year, applicants would have become self-employed on or after April 6, 2019, and before March 17, 2020, and therefore do not qualify for the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

Alternatively, those who became self-employed between October 1, 2018, and April 6, 2019, but are ineligible for SEISS due to being unable to prove 50% of income came from self-employment can apply for the grants.

Only Scottish residents with trading profits below £50,000 in the financial year 2019-2020 who have lost business income due to coronavirus restrictions are eligible.

Owners – rather than employees – of businesses such as tattoo and piercing salons, driving instructors, hairdressers, massage therapies and alternative medicines including homoeopathy can apply for the Mobile and Home-Based Close Contact Services Fund.

The business has to operate either at the owner’s home or on a mobile basis more than 50% of the time.

The funds will open for applications for four weeks, although the government has not said when it expects money to be paid out.

Information above is from STV NEWS page.

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