ImportantDue to the system processing for the new Council Tax bills for 2021/22 the Council Tax and Benefits Self Service will not be available from 6.30pm on Friday 5 March until 5pm on Thursday 11 March.  

COVID-19 Discretionary Business Fund

The aim of this fund is to mitigate the short-term financial challenges being experienced by businesses adversely impacted by restrictions and regulations introduced since October 2020 to control the spread of COVID-19. It enables individual local authorities to direct additional financial support to specific groups, sectors or businesses within their local area who are experiencing immediate financial challenges as a result of current restrictions and regulations and that have received limited direct financial support from the Scottish Government. 

The priority for these grants is local smaller and micro businesses (i.e. those with fewer than 50 employees).  SCIOs, charitable organisations and social enterprises are eligible, where they have a trading aspect to their organisation that has been adversely impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. 


Sole traders, Partnerships or Limited Companies with no employees (excluding the Director and/or partner) are entitled to a one-off grant of £3,000.

Businesses registered as employers with employees at the time of application are entitled to a one-off grant of £5,000.

Please note this is a single payment per business.  Businesses with multiple premises will only be eligible for one payment. This fund will be issued on a first come first served basis.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Since March 2020 saw their trading income significantly impacted by COVID-19, by at least 30% of previous years income
  • Be based or headquartered as a business within the Aberdeen City boundary
  • Be able to demonstrate active trading in the run up to March 2020
  • Be registered as a business before March 23rd 2020 
  • Have a business bank account.  For sole traders and the self-employed, personal bank accounts are acceptable as long as statements can be provided that show transactions directly related to the business

If you have been awarded or are eligible for other funding

You should not apply for this fund if you are eligible for any scheme of support introduced or announced by Scottish Government since 1 October 2020, including:

  • Coronavirus Strategic Framework Business Fund
  • Taxi and Private Hire Driver Support Fund
  • COVID-19 Museum Development Fund
  • Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers
  • Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund
  • Food and Drink Resilience Wholesale Fund
  • wedding and events venues and accommodation providers fund
  • Mobile Close Contact Services
  • Bed and Breakfasts, guesthouses and self-catered accommodation
  • travel agents
  • tour operators
  • breweries
  • indoor football centres
  • coach and tour operators, visitor attractions, visitor accommodation hostels

Receipt of the Discretionary fund could impact your eligibility for the above sector specific schemes.

Funding exemptions

Employers that have been in receipt of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or Individuals in receipt of the Income Support Scheme can still apply for this fund.

Businesses should check their eligibility for these schemes and apply to them (where relevant) before considering applying for a Discretionary Business Disruption Grant.

Further details on all of the new funding schemes are available at 

How to Apply 

The first round closed on Monday, 22 February 2021 at noon.

A second round will be announced shortly with revised guidelines.

Contact Us  

Please note that due to the volume of applications anticipated we will not be able to provide updates on specific applications while in process.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following exclusions will apply:

  • Businesses that are not based or headquartered in Aberdeen – national and international businesses or those registered in tax havens are not eligible.
  • Businesses that are in administration, insolvent or where a striking off notice has been made;
  • Businesses that are eligible/ in receipt of  Covid-19 Grants since October 2020 (Including Srategic Framework Business Funding and Contingency Fund or  plan on applying for new Covid-19  funding delivered by Scottish Enterprise, Visit Scotland, Creative Scotland, Events Scotland*;
  • Businesses that have received an enforcement notice as a result of breaching Covid-19 regulations;
  • Businesses that were set up after 23rd March 2020
  • Individual applicants who have other employment, on furlough and/ or the business activity does not represent their primary income (60%)

* Furlough payments (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme) for employers or grants from the Aberdeen  August restrictions/ Discretionary grants do not need to be declared.

Recent Business Account Bank Statement covering the last 3 months in the name of your business, clearly showing the account details (including account holder name, account number and sort code) in order for us to verify these match the details provided on the application form. If your business has had no recent transactions, we will also require a bank statement for March 2020.

Bank statements must be from the same account approved grants will be paid in to.

Nature of Business SIC Code SIC codes, or standard industrial classification codes, are five-digit codes that group companies by their business activities. This code will be on your business registration documents. To find your SIC code use the Companies House search function, go to 

Business Organisation Document select the most appropriate option for your business type: 

  • Company (inc. Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations and Community Interest Companies): Certificate of Incorporation or Companies House/SCIO registration number. 
  • Partnership: Partnership agreement or HMRC registration.
  • Sole Trader: HMRC registration, Self-assessment documents or valid business insurance document.
  • Trust: Constitution documents, HMRC registration or VAT registration document.

Evidence of lost income

Evidence your business has been indirectly impacted by the restrictions. 

This can include profit and loss accounts, comparative bank statements for the same period in 2019, details of contracts lost or cancelled booking diaries/ work schedules or cancelled customer bookings (copies of receipts or confirmation communications).

For Employers grant (£5,000): evidence you employed one or more staff (not including yourself or a partner or director in the business) on 17 March 2020.

Evidence can include, but is not limited to:

  • a payroll records 
  • HMRC PAYE registration and reports for February-March 2020 or prior
  • and/or successful application to the Coronavirus Job Retention (“Furlough”) Scheme.

The first round of the Fund will be open to application from Monday 25th January.

Deadline for submission for the first round will be Monday 22nd February 2021 noon.

Depending on the level of demand and funding remaining a second round may be launched in March with a potentially amended criteria, however the priority for the first round is to support those businesses which have not received financial assistance to date, not for those business seeking additional support to what they have received to date.

For eligible businesses our target is to turnaround completed applications for payment within 10 working days from submission. If your application is incomplete or additional checks are required, this may take longer. Date of payment from notification of award will also depend on how long your bank takes to progress BACs payments (typically 3-5 working days) 

If you are unsuccessful and dissatisfied with the decision you have the right to appeal through the online grant appeal form.

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