The Scottish Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund is a £45 million needs-based grant for vital but vulnerable SMEs during the Coronavirus crisis. It is part of a £100 million fund, with £34 million allocated to the Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund, and £20 million to the Creative, Tourism and Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund. Applications opened on April 30, and fund release will begin in early May.
According to Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop, this fund allocation “will be a vital lifeline for Scottish individuals and businesses to relieve hardship, protecting the newly self-employed ineligible for other support, and viable micro and SME businesses in distress who may be ineligible for UK Government sources of funding or not in receipt yet of the funds they need to survive.”
Is My Business a “Pivotal Enterprise”?
If your business can support the economy on a local, regional or national level, and if your business plays a vital role in Scotland’s recovery efforts amidst the COVID 19 pandemic, then yours is a pivotal enterprise. You can receive the grant if you need cash flow assistance to continue or boost your operations during this critical time. This type of grant should be for immediate needs, such as trading operations and employee support to help with economic stability.
Your application is a subject to government approval, based on specific conditions within specific areas of concern. Primarily, you should be currently operating or are planning to operate if your business halted operations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Aside from this, you should also be able to justify through the application process that your business has a significant impact in any the following areas:
- Local economy – if your company has a substantial number of employees in a particular area, or it contributes to the socio-economic welfare of Scots in rural areas.
- COVID-19 essential businesses – if you currently, or have the potential to, supply to COVID-19 related services and vital businesses, such as being a direct supplier to the NHS, being in the food industry, or being in the business of delivering essential supplies.
- National productivity boost – if your business can give a boost to Scotland’s capacity through research and development, wage levels, export and innovation.
If approved, the grant should be used as working capital to augment any cash flow gaps you experienced because of COVID-19, such as for rent, salaries, utility bills, and other operating costs. You may also use the grant for business expansion in response to opportunities arising from the situation.
Types of businesses involved in the following are not considered as pivotal enterprises and will not qualify for the grant:
- Weapons industry (supply, repair or manufacture)
- Gambling industry
- Military fighting vehicles (supply, repair or manufacture)
Aside from the abovementioned conditions, your business should meet the following criteria to be eligible for application:
- Balance sheet total of £37 million, or less than £43 million turnovers, whichever applies. You may still try to apply even if you exceeded the limit if it is a temporary figure brought about by an exceptional year.
- Not more than 249 employees before the COVID-19 crisis
- Not in financial distress before December 31, 2019
- Fair Work employer, or working towards becoming one
- A real living wage of £9.30 per hour (For reference visit this link https://scottishlivingwage.org/ )
- Training and development for employees
- No zero-hour contracts
- Fair pay not based on gender
- Genuine workforce engagement
- Have a business bank account
Required Documents and Information
If you meet the abovementioned criteria, you should provide along with your application the following:
- Bank statement within the last three months
- Registration number (from Companies House, Mutuals, Charities Commission, Public Register, and other bodies that you file accounts with)
- Full-time equivalent job numbers based on the following:
- Full-time job: 30 hours/week
- Part-time job: 15 hours/week
- Zero hour contracts will not be counted
- UK VAT registration number, if applicable
- Last year’s balance sheet with a turnover figure
- Any information relevant to complete a 12-month cash flow template:
- Net debtors receipts
- Invoicing discount drawdown
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Grant
- Coronavirus Interruption Loan Scheme grant
- Any other grants received
- Any other income
- Wages or salary, PAYE/NI, pension and additional staff-related costs
- Non-stock supplier debits
- Supplier payments
- Corporate credit card payments due, bank term loan repayments, bank charges and interest, and any other monthly expenses
- Overdraft limit
You should also be able to provide ample information that will be convincing of your eligibility to receive the grant. In the application process, you will explain how you can make an economic contribution to Scotland, whether in your local community, in the regional economy, or the larger national productivity. Include all relevant information, such as how you can benefit local supply chains, other essential businesses, and your community as a whole.
To ensure square and fairness in the release of grants, the following conditions apply to all applicants:
- One application per company, regardless of the number of branches or locations.
- For claims over £100,000, companies must submit Human Rights Due Diligence checks.
Once you have everything on hand, you may start your application here:
After completing the online application process, the government will review your submitted documents and any other information you provided.
- Upon receipt of approval, it takes up to 10 working days before the grant is released. The government will also take into account your business’s current status and how it can affect the area or industry you are in.
- Successful applicants will be notified and should formally accept the grant offer within three working days, after which the grant will be released 100% upfront.
The Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund provides a win-win situation for your business and the government’s efforts to curb the drastic effects of COVID-19. As long as you can present a strong case of how your business contributes to Scotland’s viable future, you can receive the grant. If you can, act fast and gather all the necessary documents needed for the application. From here on out, it is best to ensure that all your financial activity is well documented and well accounted for.