Assistance Available

A broad range of advice, support, and financial assistance, including: business-planning; access to funding; marketing; and the practicalities of starting & developing your business.

Funding Schemes

Outer Hebrides Young Enterprise Support Scheme (OHYESS)

OHYESS is open to entrepreneurs setting up a new business venture or developing a business which was established within the last five years.  The scheme aims to fill the gap for business start-up funding for entrepreneurs and development funding for early-stage companies.

Grant funding is available to businesses in key sectors that have been trading for no longer than five years.  The funding will be used towards capital costs only.  Awards of up to £3,000 for full-time and £1,500 for part-time businesses are available. 

COVID-19 Economic Recovery Grant Scheme (CERGS)

CERGS is designed to help the economy recover from COVID-19 by supporting businesses and social enterprises with grant funding to aid recovery, build resilience and encourage development.

Grant funding of up to £20,000 for existing businesses and £10,000 for new businesses is potentially available to pay for the expertise, equipment and technology they need to adapt, recover and rebuild post-COVID.  The primary aim of the scheme is to stimulate new business investment to support recovery and longer-term growth.

Micro Business Loan

This interest-free loan of up to £2,000 aims to encourage the creation and growth of small businesses which can contribute to new jobs in the local economy.

Business Loan

Normally up to £50,000, repayable up to 7 years at an interest rate between 4 and 6% (depending upon amount/security), is to encourage business start-up and enable business and community developments by assisting with long-term sustainability in the Outer Hebrides.

Outer Hebrides Fisheries Investment Scheme

The Fisheries Investment Scheme (FIS) is a Comhairle-funded scheme supported by Western Isles Fishermen’s Association. 

The Scheme aims to create and retain employment opportunities in the Outer Hebrides by encouraging business development in the fisheries sector.   It is expected that the vessel purchase will be financed primarily from a commercial loan from the applicant’s own bank and own funds, augmented by the FIS loan.

Each case will be judged on its merits and the main factors taken into account in assessing applications will include economic viability, assessed risk and need, employment implications, creation of additional demand for products and services and impact on local competition.

A condition of any loan funding from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is that any product landed must be offered initially to processors based in the Outer Hebrides at the prevailing market price.

Community Schemes

A range of community grant schemes available through the Community Support Network.

Contact Details

Contact us for help and advice, applications, or more information