COVID-19 Discretionary Business Fund

Phase Two

The aim of this fund is to mitigate the short-term financial challenges  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 small, medium and micro businesses (i.e. those with fewer than 250 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. Please note donations and collections are not considered ‘trading’.

These grants are for support in respect to losses occurred to date, they are not intended for start-up/restart activity.


  • 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 of grants of £2,500

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:

  • Saw their trading income significantly impacted by COVID-19, in comparison to the previous year’s trading by at least 30% of previous years income
  • Be based or headquartered as a business 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 that show transactions directly related to the business
  • Be able to demonstrate active trading in the run up to March 2020* 
  • Be registered as a business before March 23rd 2020*

*This criteria does not apply to those applying as a ‘new business’, to be eligible for new business support you must have begun trading in 2020. 

If you have been awarded or are eligible for other funding

You should not apply for this fund if you have received any of the following support from the Council or 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

If you received a grant from the first round of the Discretionary Fund you are not eligible to apply to the second phase at this time, the priority is currently businesses which have received no support to date.

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 but these grants will be considered as income when assessing your eligibility.

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 second round of the Discretionary Fund closed at noon on Monday 10 May 2021. 

Future Covid-19 support programmes are under consideration, information will be published here as and when future support is announced.

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 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;
  • Individual applicants who have other employment, on furlough and/ or the business activity does not represent their primary income (75%)
  • Landlords, buy to let, AirB&b, property investments and domestic sublets are also not eligible
  • Charities and third sector organisations where there is no trading

* 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 please supply relevant evidence of lost trade due to the pandemic instead of the above.

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. If your business is seasonal please provide additional bank statements to provide a fairer comparison.

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

This round of the Fund will be open to application from Monday 29 March.

Deadline for submission for this round will be Monday 10 May 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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