COVID-19 Discretionary Business Fund

Discretionary Funding – Third Round

The purpose of this fund is to provide support to local businesses that are experiencing immediate financial challenges as a result of the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions and regulations but have not been able to access the Strategic Framework or other business support. 

The priority for support within this third round will be Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure businesses, including supply chain services and face to face businesses. 


Individuals: (sole traders, partnerships or Limited Company with no employees other than other Directors, partners or a spouse as employee) one off grants of £2,500 

Micro Business: (2-9 employees not including directors, partners, or spouses) One-off grants of £5,000 

Small Business (10 to 49 employees) One-off grants £10,000

Medium Business (50 -250 employees) One-off grants £15,000

New Business: business that have been operating less than 12 months / unable to demonstrate losses in comparison to 2020/21 financial year One-off grants of £2,500

Please note this is a single payment per business.  Businesses with multiple premises will only be eligible for one payment. 

Eligibility criteria:

•    Business has seen trading income significantly impacted by COVID-19, in comparison to the previous year’s trading.
•    Primary base of operations and/ or Corporate headquarters are within the Aberdeen City boundary.
•    Have a business bank account.  For sole traders and the self-employed, personal bank accounts are acceptable, as long as statements can be provided to demonstrate transactions are business related.
•    Be able to demonstrate active trading in the run up to March 2020* 
•    Be registered as a business before March 23rd 2020*
•    *These criteria points do not apply to those submitting as a ‘new business’, to be eligible for new business support you must have begun trading in 2020. 
•    Must not have received any Covid-19 grant support since 1 October 2020, this includes grants from UK Government, Scottish Government and Aberdeen City Council (including previous Discretionary Funding).


Applications to the third round of the Discretionary Fund have now closed, no application received after this date will be considered.

Remaining funds will be allocated through the Business Transition Support Fund.

Business Transition Support Fund

A new Business Transition Fund is being established to support businesses to build back better from the impacts of the Pandemic, with a focus on solutions such as improving digital resilience, physical adaption, Net Zero improvements/energy efficiencies or other interventions which will support their recovery as well as attract and retain talent.

The purpose of the fund is to support businesses who are not able, due to immediate financial pressures, to adapt to new ways of working or to make investment towards remaining competitive in a post Covid-19 economy.

Up to £30k for businesses who are affected financially by the pandemic and limits their ability to trade as a result e.g. implementation of new systems, new ways of working, new plant, investment in green technology to reduce costs and create greater efficiencies. 

Any Aberdeen business interested in transition support at this time are asked to register their interest by email at the address below. 

This funding is part of the Scottish Government’s £120 million Discretionary Fund to local authorities to provide additional support for businesses in their area who had limited support or no support from other Covid-19 funding schemes. Aberdeen City Council received £6 million and has disbursed just over £5 million to date to local businesses.


Contact Us

Please refer to the FAQ below first before contacting the team, most queries will be covered there.

Please also note that due to the volume of applications anticipated we will not be able to provide updates on specific applications while in process. If you do contact us please include your application reference number and your specific question and we will do our best to have an answer for you when we respond.  

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 Strategic Framework Business Funding and Contingency Fund)
  • Businesses that have received an enforcement notice as a result of breaching Covid-19 regulations;
  • Individual applicants who have other employment, on furlough and/ or the business activity does not represent their primary income (75%)
  • Online and Ecommerce businesses, Domestic and Commercial landlords, property investments and domestic sublets are also not eligible
  • Charities and third sector organisations where there are no trading activities
  • Please note any Covid-19 grant support applicants have received including Job Retention grants to employers and Income Support Scheme grants to individuals will be considered as income for the purpose of reviewing applicants need for support.

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) to allow us to verify 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.

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.

Mandatory: 3 months bank statements for the same comparative period in 2019/20 or audited accounts.  If your business is seasonal please supply statements for the current year and previous year which articulate the loss of trade.

If you are applying as a new business, you will need to provide recent bank statements but please supply relevant evidence of lost trade due to the pandemic instead of  audited accounts or statements from 2019/20.

You may also supply additional evidence to support your claim,

This can include profit and loss accounts, cancelled invoices and details of contracts lost for example. 

Please note if your business has been trading for less than 2 years and unable to demonstrate evidence of comparative loss your application will be treated as a ‘new business’ submission.

For Employers grants: You must confirm the number of employees and provide evidence you employed at least two or more staff on the 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.
  • Failure to provide this evidence will lead to your application being either ineligible or treated as an ‘individual’ application

The Third round of the Fund will be open to application from Tuesday 17th August 2021

Deadline for submission for this round will be Tuesday 7th September 2021 noon.


For eligible businesses our target is to turnaround completed applications for payment within 15 working days from submission. If your application is incomplete or additional checks are required, this may take significantly 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) 

The usual process if you have forgotten any login details is to click forgot password at login screen, this will send an email to your account allowing you to reset.  

General login page is:  

Support on using your online account is available at:  

If you are unable to resolve your issue online you can call the Contact Centre at 03000 200 292 Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. For most customers, these calls will be free. If you have 'free minutes' in your call plan, the 03000 numbers will be included in this. Calls from a BT line cost 11p per minute, the same as a local call.

If you did not get a confirmation email or reference number then unfortunately your application has not been received.  In most cases this is due to your session ‘timing out’ so it’s important to have your evidence ready to upload when you apply.  The reference number is generated automatically when you begin the application, this does not mean the application has submitted unless you receive the confirmation email.

Another issue is your device or browser may need to be updated, if you are using Internet Explorer or Safari you may want to try using Chrome instead to see if this resolves your issues.

If you are unsuccessful and dissatisfied with the decision you have the right to appeal through the online grant appeal form. A link to the appeal will be provided with your decision notification.


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