Support for business

Discretionary Business Fund

Updated 22 March 2021

This Fund is aimed at businesses based in South Lanarkshire experiencing immediate financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions and regulations who have not been able to access the Strategic Framework Business Fund and any other business grants or funds provided by the Scottish Government.  This fund aims to assist businesses that have been without financial support since the restrictions implemented from October 2020. This also now includes newly self-employed individuals who became self-employed on or between 18 March and 1 November 2020.

It is a one-off payment aimed at small and micro-businesses (less than 50 employees) that have been unable to access other funding and support since October 2020 and are experiencing financial hardship as a result of Covid-19. The level of award is determined by the number of employees your business has.

This fund is limited and is available on a ‘first come first served’ basis, there is no right of appeal on any decisions and the decisions are final due to the limited nature of the funding. 

We would encourage you to apply as soon as you can.  However, please note that if we do not receive every piece of information required below, this will delay your application which may not therefore be assessed before funds are exhausted.  Please read the eligibility and information required carefully to make sure you supply everything we need to process your application.

Eligibility criteria

The fund is open to businesses who fall into one of the following three categories:

  • Businesses who do not operate from business premises e.g. operate from home
  • Supply chain businesses that supply goods and services to businesses that have been closed or restricted by the regulations e.g. supplying goods and/or services to the hospitality sector
  • Businesses that have been impacted by travel restrictions e.g. cleaning businesses, removals, dog groomers, catteries/kennels etc.

You must also:

  • be based in South Lanarkshire
  • be a small or micro enterprise employing less than 50 staff.
  • have a business bank account.  For sole traders and the self-employed only, personal bank accounts are acceptable as long as bank statements can be provided that clearly show transactions directly related to the business
  • be ineligible for any other scheme of support introduced since October by the Scottish Government, this will also include any new schemes of support which may be announced by the Scottish Government prior to the end of March 2021. 

    Please note this means your business is not eligible for the Strategic Framework Business Fund and Newly Self Employed Hardship Fund and Mobile Close Contact Services which will be launched in February 2021.
  • be able to demonstrate that your trading income for October to December 2020 reduced when compared to the same period October to December 2019
  • I fall into one of the following two categories:
    •  My business was trading on 9 October 2020, or would have been trading if it were not required to close due to Scottish Government Coronavirus Brake Restrictions.
    • I am a newly self-employed individual who commenced self-employment between 18 March 2020 and 1 November 2020
  • If you are self-employed you must derive 50% of your total personal income from the applicant business
  • not be connected to a tax haven, as set out in the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No 2) Act 2020

Please note that business who received the C19 Business Support Grant or a Bounce Back Loan CAN APPLY for this Discretionary Business Fund.

New funding launched/launching in January and February 2021

In December, the Scottish Government announced a range of other, sector specific business grant schemes that will also be launching in early 2021.  Whilst the full breakdown has not yet been provided, sectors / activities covered include hospitality; events industry; food and drink, brewers; travel agents; tour and coach operators; brewers; self-catering and B&Bs; indoor football; visitor attraction; and taxi drivers

Further information can be found at

Businesses should check their eligibility for these schemes and apply to them (where relevant) before considering applying for this fund.

The UK and Scottish Governments are in the process of finalising the following schemes respectively:

  • Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund
  • Mobile Close Contact Services, Hairdresser and Driving Instructor Support Fund 

Please note that businesses/individuals who are eligible for these two schemes will NOT be eligible for the C19 Discretionary Fund. This will be taken into consideration if you submit an application.

Level of award

Total Number of Employees (part and full time)

One off payment of:

0 – 10


11 - 24


25 - 49



Who cannot apply?

  • Any business which has applied for or been approved for the Strategic Framework Business Fund (Closure/Restriction Fund).
  • Taxi, private hire and coach operators, Mobile Close Contact Services, Travel Agents, Brewers, Indoor Football, Tour Operators, Visitor Attractions, Wedding and Events venues and accommodation providers.

Separate funding was announced for these businesses by the Scottish Government on 9 December 2020, and is now available (or scheduled to be available in February 2021).

  • Anyone eligible for the Newly Self-employed Hardship Fund (if you became self-employed on or before 17 March 2020)
  • Hair and beauty salons and other close contact services operating from business premises.
  • Takeaway food establishments that offer a delivery service

Before you apply

You will be asked to upload a minimum of 3 pieces of evidence on the application form which may take some time to gather in the appropriate format. Please take some time to read through and collect these as the application does not allow you to save and return to complete it.

If any of these pieces of evidence are not clear when you upload them, this will delay your application as we will need to come back to you for more information.

We can accept jpegs and pdf files but we advise that you use pdfs if you can as the file size is smaller.

We require the following evidence in pdf format preferably:

  • Proof of Loss of Earnings: You will be asked to provide evidence to demonstrate your business has lost income during the period October to December 2020 compared to the same period in 2019 and how that loss of income was a result of COVID-19 restrictive measures

    The types of documentary evidence we can accept showing the loss of income between the same months in 2019 and 2020 includes:

• Copies of bank statements
• Profit and loss accounts
• Management accounts
• Evidence of orders/contracts cancelled or not renewed
• Other evidence you feel demonstrates loss of income

Please note that if you are applying as someone who became newly self-employed between 17 March and 1 November 2020 you do not need to evidence loss of earnings. You do have to evidence that you were trading during this time.

  • Proof of Business Type: Only certain types of business are eligible, below are the types and what we will need you to provide to evidence this:
    • 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.
    • Freelancer: HMRC registration/unique tax reference
    • Self-Employed: HMRC registration/unique tax reference

If you cannot provide documentary evidence of the relevant reference numbers, a picture of the reference number (showing the number and what it refers to) will be acceptable

  • You MUST also provide your most recent full business bank statement clearly showing the account details, including account holder name, account number and sort code so that we can verify these match the details provided on the application form. This bank statement must also show recent business expenditure and (where applicable) staff wages or furlough payments.

If you operate from business premises you will be asked to provide

  • Evidence of a current lease or rental agreement. This is only required if your business does not pay Non-Domestic Rates directly to South Lanarkshire Council, but they are instead paid via your landlord.  Your lease/agreement should be signed and dated and clearly show that you contribute to the non-domestic rates for the premises you occupy.

If you DO NOT operate from business premises, e.g. you operate from home, you will be asked to provide the following:

  • Proof of your Identity: a valid passport or driving licence (including provisional driving licence). One or two page scan that must have a picture for identity purposes
  • Proof of your address (to prove you are a South Lanarkshire Council resident): a recent council tax bill or utility bill

    Please note that proof of identity shouldn’t be the same as proof of address (e.g. a driving licence is not sufficient for both proof of identity and proof of address).

Once you have the information required together in pdf or jpeg format, you can apply online.

As outlined above, we would encourage you to apply as soon as you can as funds are limited.  However, please note that if we do not receive every piece of information required above, this will delay your application which may not therefore be assessed before funds are exhausted.  Please read the eligibility and information required carefully to make sure you supply everything we need to process your application.

Please note we are dealing with a large number of applications and will process and make payment as soon as possible. We understand your anxiety and would ask for your patience, the team is working through applications as quickly as possible.

Related content

  1. Discretionary Business Fund
  2. How to upload evidence