Support for business

Self-employed Hardship Fund

This fund provides one hardship cash payment of £2000 to newly self-employed individuals who have not been able to access support through other COVID-19 support schemes. This is funded by the Scottish Government as part of their COVID-19 support. To be eligible you must meet all of the required criteria and provide clear evidence to demonstrate this. You should only use this form if you live in South Lanarkshire. If you live in another council area you should apply to that council.

Who can apply

You can claim if you:

  • are a newly self-employed individual and
  • started trading on or after 6 April 2019, up to and including March 2020, and can provide evidence of this, and
  • have not been able to access support through other COVID-19 support schemes

If you receive the grant you can continue to work or take on other employment including voluntary work.

We expect this hardship fund to close soon, please apply as soon as possible.

How much you will get

If your application is successful, you will receive one hardship cash payment of £2000 into your bank account.

How to apply

The application is done online and you will have to upload various forms of evidence. 

Before you start your application, please make sure you have the following information available as scans, photos and/or pdfs and saved on the device you will be using to complete the form. Each page of the form can accept a total file size of 10MB for uploads to try to keep the size of each file to a minimum. It will make the process quicker if the link between your personal name and business name is clear on your evidence.

You will need the following evidence for the form - make sure you have it before you start as you have 20 minutes to complete each page of the form before it times out:

  • photographic proof of identity, for example your valid passport or driving licence
  • proof of address, for example a recent Council Tax bill or utility bill
  • evidence of active trading up to 17 March 2020 - bank statements you use for your business covering 3 months to, and including, March 2020 which clearly show your income and outgoings from self-employment. If you started trading less than three months ago submit what bank statements you have.

You will also need any 2 of the following that can be clearly linked to your business and trading activity:

  • an active supplier or reseller trade account
  • valid business insurance
  • HMRC Unique Taxpayer Reference (if registered). If you aren't yet registered you should provide a copy of correspondence or other details showing registration is being sought/or provide further details to explain position
  • VAT Registration Number
  • marketing materials for your business, for example business website, active social media – provide web links
  • other evidence of business activity to support your claim

After you have applied

Once you apply you will receive an email confirming your application details and providing you with a reference number. Please keep this information as you may need it if we have to contact you about your application.

If we have no further questions, you will not hear back from us until your application has either been approved for payment or rejected for some reason. In both instances you will receive an email from us telling you the decision. If you receive notification that your application has been rejected you have the right to appeal within 10 working days of receipt of your notification. Details of the appeals process will be sent to you with the notification.

We aim to make these payments within 10 working days from the submission of a complete application (excluding bank holidays). Please avoid emailing us for updates as our focus will be on trying to get as many payments out to individuals as quickly as we can, and responses to emails may be delayed as a result. If you do have an enquiry about the application process please email

If we need any more information from you to process your application we will email you. Respond as quickly as you can to avoid a delay in processing your application.

Other help you can get

We encourage you to contact with Business Gateway to discuss other ways of supporting your business through the current lockdown. They offer one-to-one support by phone or Skype, guidance on funding options and a range of online resources including free webinars, video tutorials, guides, and advice. You can also phone them on 01236 702020.

For more information see the Find Business Support website and check our Business Support pages for local updates.