The world is facing challenging times – much challenging than anything it has ever faced in the past decade. With COVID-19 cases skyrocketing worldwide, hitting the 3 million mark just a few days ago, this global pandemic is not only threatening the health of the people but the global economy as well.
There has been a significant decline in the business sector of the United Kingdom. With people locked inside the confines of their humble abode, companies, both big and small, have limited ways to keep their operation going. Aside from much-needed food establishments, supermarkets, and other “vital needs” businesses, companies that make a living out of miscellaneous and leisure activities are having a hard time keeping things at bay.
In an article published by The Guardian, the UK economy is predicted to shrink by 20% should the Coronavirus disease persists until the last quarter of 2020. The extended lockdown and the lack of activity in the business sector are believed to be the primary cause of this decline. With the impending implications this may have for the entire continent, the UK government continues to explore ways to support the drivers of economic strength to the country: Local businesses.
Much recently, the Scotland authorities have launched a new program for businesses that classify under Creative/Tourism and Hospitality Enterprises. This Scottish Creative or Tourism and Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund is a £100M grant for SMEs (Small and Medium-sized Enterprise). This fund purports to enable businesses to continue their operation despite the decline in consumer engagement or help them “fill in the gaps” until such time that they’re able to operate again.
You can read more about it here: https://www.thecaterer.com/news/scotland-20-million-hardship-fund-creative-tourism-hospitality-enterprises-coronavirus
If you believe that your business falls under this category and you are not engaged in industries that fall under the non-supported sector (e.g., repair, distribution, and manufacture of weapons, ammunition, and military fighting vehicles, and gambling/betting establishments); you may apply as a beneficiary for this emergency fund.
What Are The Eligibility Requirements?
- Your business must have no more than 49 employees.
- You did not experience any financial difficulty or business decline before December 31, 2019.
- You are seeing or expecting a loss of current/projected revenue by at least 50%.
- You have not availed of any other program or fund assistance from the government in line with the COVID-19 pandemic, not including the Furlough scheme.
- Your business has an active bank account.
- Your company is not pre-revenue.
If you meet the minimum criteria, the next step is to prepare the requirements for application. You will not have to pay a cent for applying, and this funding scheme is open to all qualified SMEs so long that they can provide the following:
- Bank Statement that is less than three months old (Business Account)
- If you’re a registered business, then you have to give the House Registration Number
- VAT registration number, if applicable
- Complete a 3-month cash flow table
How To Apply
- Fill out a pre-application form on this website.
- Choose the fund you wish to apply for or in this case, select the Scottish Creative or Tourism and Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund. Create an account using your active email address
- Wait for your account to be confirmed
- Once your confirmation arrives, click on the redirect link and create your password
- Continue your application on-site
Final Piece of Advice
Again, if you have availed any government-issued funding associated with COVID-19, your application for this fund will not be entertained. Also, your business size, particularly the number of your FTEs (Full-Time Employees), may be taken into consideration.
If you encounter any problems with creating your account or submitting your application, please do not be alarmed. Due to the influx of requests, it may take some time to receive a confirmation for your pre-application. Assessment of applications will not start until May 4, 2020, to ensure that every SME has a fair chance of applying for the fund.
The application to releasing process is expected to take at least (10) ten business days for all qualified beneficiaries of the fund.