Coronavirus Business Support Fund

Small Business Support Grant and Retail, Hospitality, Leisure Support Grant

The Comhairle is now accepting applications for the Scottish Government’s Business Support Grants. Applications should be made by completing the form below and returning it to the Comhairle.

Guidance on eligibility is included in the form which should be returned by clicking the submit button or saving the form and attaching it to an email. The form must be accompanied by a scanned or photographed bank statement or this this will delay the process. If the account is not in the name of the relevant business please make this clear on the form.

Please make sure that you complete the form fully and accurately. The Comhairle is expecting a high volume of applications and these will be dealt with on a first come basis. Any queries should be submitted to bsg@cne-siar.gov.uk

For the form to work correctly you must download and save the Application Form to your computer, do not open it in a tab in the browser.  You must then open and complete the PDF Application Form in Adobe Acrobat Reader.  If you don't have Acrobat Reader you can install for free from the Adobe Website (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)

CnES Business Support Application Form (1.2MB) (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)

CnES Business Support Application Form (72.9kB) (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)

Frequently Asked Questions

As part of its response to the COVID-19 emergency, the Scottish Government is making grants available for certain businesses and has asked the Comhairle to administer the Grant Scheme on its behalf within the Outer Hebrides.

Is my business eligible for the grant?

What if I get Nursery Relief or Disabled Relief?

What if I have more than one eligible property?

I own a property but it is not in use / unoccupied at present - do I still qualify for the grant?

I run a Bed & Breakfast but pay Council tax rather than Non-domestic Rates – do I qualify for the grant?

I have self-catering property(ies) - am I eligible for a grant?

My business had not yet opened for the season when restrictions began – do I still qualify for the grant?

How do I apply for the grant?

How long do I have to apply for the grant?

The form asks for my rates reference number, where can I find this?

Do I need to include any supporting evidence with my application?

What details do you need to allow the grant payment to be made?

Do I need to sign the application form?

What other business support schemes are available?

When will I receive the grant and will I be notified payment has been made?

What if my question hasn’t been answered?

Is my business eligible for the grant?

Which business types are eligible or not for the grant – has been defined by the Scottish Government.

Small businesses

Businesses operating in an eligible premises that was in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme and Rural Relief as at 17 March 2020, can apply for a one-off grant (external link) of £10,000.

Other retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value between £18,001 and up to and including £50,999 will be able to apply for a one-off grant of £25,000. Not all business types will qualify - to check eligibility please see the details on the Scottish Government’s website (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).

What if I get Nursery Relief or Disabled Relief?

If you applied for Nursery Relief or Disabled Relief but are eligible for the Small Business Bonus Scheme you can also apply for the £10,000 grant.

What if I have more than one eligible property?

The Scottish Government have advised that only one grant is allowed per ratepayer regardless of the number of premises held.  

I own a property but it is not in use / unoccupied at present - do I still qualify for the grant?

No – unoccupied properties are not eligible for the grant.

I run a Bed & Breakfast but pay Council tax rather than Non-domestic Rates – do I qualify for the grant?

No – only properties on the Non-domestic rates register are able to apply for the grant. However, you may be able to access other forms of support – see the Business Gateway website (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).

I Have self-catering property(ies) – am I eligible for a grant?

The Comhairle is administering this scheme on behalf of the Scottish Government who have deemed that self-catering properties are eligible if the ratepayer can evidence at least 140 days occupancy in 19/20 and that the income represents a primary source of income for the ratepayer.

My business had not yet opened for the season when restrictions began – do I still qualify for the grant?

For the £10,000 grant, qualification requires occupation of the business premises as at 17 March 2020 although you do not have to have been taking guests at this time – i.e. a seasonal business is still eligible as long as they were registered for Nondomestic rates.

How do I apply for the grant?

Applicants can download the CnES Business Support Application Form (1.2MB) (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)

For the form to work correctly you must download and save the Application Form to your computer, do not open it in a tab in the browser.  You must then open and complete the PDF Application Form in Adobe Acrobat Reader.  If you don't have Acrobat Reader you can install for free from the Adobe Website (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)

How long do I have to apply for the grant?

Eligible ratepayers can apply for the one-off grant payment up to 31 March 2021

The form asks for my rates reference number, where can I find this?

This is your 9 digit account reference number beginning with 4 as shown on the front of your bill in the top right section. If you are unable to access your paperwork you can also retrieve your property reference number from the Assessors website (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) – simply add your postcode in the “Search for a Rateable Value” box.

Do I need to include any supporting evidence with my application?

You do not have to provide any evidence of loss of business, BUT you do need to provide bank details and documentary evidence as described below to allow the grant payment to be made. 

What details do you need to allow the grant payment to be made?

It is important that bank account details are sent at the same time as the application form otherwise it may delay your payment. This should be a scanned bank statement or image (photo taken on mobile phone will do if good quality) of the nominated online account dated within 3 months of the application date. If you do not send your bank evidence it may be possible to verify your bank account if you have received payments from the Comhairle for any reason in the past.

Do I need to sign the application form?

If you are able to sign the application form and scan it, please do so before submitting your application form. If you are unable to scan, please either use an electronic signature (if you have one) or print off the page and sign it and then take a mobile phone photo of it and send it to us with your application form. If you are unable to do this – then type in your name and explain in your cover email.

What other business support schemes are available?

The Comhairle has details on other forms of support that is available to businesses and individuals from both the UK Government and the Scottish Government. This can be viewed on the Business Resilience (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) webpage.

When will I receive the grant and will I be notified payment has been made?

Grant payments have already started. Our target is to have your grant payment to you within 10 working days of your application being acknowledged. However, this will be very challenging given the volume of applications we expect to receive, the fact that our small team are following Government advice and working from home and that we are still required to do appropriate checks to comply with financial regulations. When we have authorised the grant you should receive an automated email advising you that the BACS payment is due (on that or the next day).

What if my question hasn’t been answered?

If after referring to the information on the application form and on the linked websites the Comhairle will endeavour to assist. However, please bear in mind that Comhairle is administering this scheme on behalf of government so may have to seek advice from the Scottish Government on some questions.

If you are unsure which business type your business is, you can:

  • complete the application and submit it and the Comhairle will determine when assessing whether you are eligible

Email bsg@cne-siar.gov.uk  and we will seek to answer queries.

In view of the expected demand, the Comhairle will however, prioritise processing completed application forms submitted and getting grant payments to businesses.