COVID-19 Economic Recovery Grant Scheme (CERGS)

Objectives & Assistance

The COVID-19 Economic Recovery Grant Scheme is funded by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and 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.  Funds are limited and applications will be prioritised according to when they are received and business/economic impact.

Please note that tourism accommodation developments are not eligible for support.

Funding is available for the following types of activity:

  • Inward investment – supporting businesses to relocate to the Outer Hebrides
  • Diversification – supporting businesses with plans to adapt and diversify
  • Sustainability/Resilience – supporting activity that will build resilience and make business more sustainable
  • Developing Markets – supporting businesses in accessing new markets through the use of technology
  • Growth – encouraging businesses to invest in growth activity
  • Re-build – supporting businesses to recover
  • Start-up – support the development of new start-up businesses
  • Net Zero – support the employment of net zero measures
  • Retail Centre Regeneration – support main retail centre/ports-of-entry businesses to attract footfall and encourage local spend
  • Innovation – support the introduction of innovation into the workplace or the development of innovative products/services
  • Support Local – support opportunities for produce/products to be created closer to the point of consumption, e.g. local food production
  • Gaelic – support the development of businesses which have a strong focus on Gaelic

Levels of Grant Available

Existing businesses

Maximum £20,000, towards capital costs (50% for part-time businesses).

New businesses

Maximum of £10,000 towards capital costs (50% for part-time businesses).

Level of Support Available

Up to 50% of eligible costs.

Eligibility & Conditions

The COVID-19 Economic Recovery Grant Scheme is subject to the following conditions:

  • Open to new and existing businesses based in the Outer Hebrides. The upper grant limit for start-ups is normally £10,000 but, in exceptional cases, higher amounts may be available for projects where the economic/business impact is significant and there is a funding gap. Applicants eligible for other public funding can potentially also access support from this scheme but the total amount of funding must be within Subsidy Control guidelines. 
  • Up to 20% of a grant award can go towards revenue activities such as marketing, digital, e-commerce, packaging etc. Costs such as overheads, administration and wages are not considered eligible for grant support.  Your adviser will be able to provide further advice on what aspects of revenue costs can be included.
  • Business owners/applicants must be based in the Outer Hebrides.
  • Sole traders, partnerships, limited companies, co-operative groups, social enterprises or other legitimate business trading entities can apply for support.
  • Activity must satisfy the key aims of the scheme, which is to aid economic and business recovery. Priority will be given to projects that link in with the local Economic Recovery Strategy.
  • The development of tourism accommodation is considered ineligible.
  • Applicants must be able to fund the project until the grant can be claimed. Grant payments will be released only upon submission of ‘proof of payment’.  No money should be spent until an application has been approved and an official letter of offer provided.
  • Applicants with income from other employment will likely be considered part-time.
  • Individual items being grant funded by other public sector agencies will not normally be considered eligible.
  • There is no guarantee of receiving the maximum award as the scheme gives priority to high impact projects.
  • Each application will be considered on its own merits. However, projects in areas which are adequately served by similar existing businesses are unlikely to meet the eligibility criteria.

The following will be required:

New businesses - business plan, financial projections (3-years), application form, supporting information as required.

Existing businesses - accounts, business plan, financial projections, application form, supporting information as required.

Existing businesses (grant requests below £2,000) – accounts, business plan or project overview with project costs and projections, application form and any other supporting information considered necessary.

In addition, applicants will be required to complete an online application form, provide copies of bank statements, credit check and any other supplementary information considered necessary to fully assess the application.

Contact Details

Contact us for more information.