COVID Business Support Update - F Carson MSP

MSP Finlay Carson has issued an update including details of Covid support funds that open now and those upcoming:



Carson Chamber

Over the last month, I have been lobbying Scottish Government ministers and the Local Authority on a range of different issues including additional support for hospitality, mobile workers such as Hairdressers, Tattooists and Beauticians, Taxi Companies, and the B&B and Self Caterers who fell through the net in the first round of funding, as well as many other self-employed people and businesses operating from home, paying Council Tax rather than Business Rates.

There has been some success in getting policies changed and I will continue to work to give our businesses and constituents across Galloway and West Dumfries the best chance of making it through this incredibly difficult time.

The Scottish Government have announced the following sector specific grants which are due to go live this month:

· Newly Self-Employed Hardship Scheme

· Support for Larger Hospitality Businesses January Top-up for Hospitality Businesses

· Indoor Football Fund

· Travel Agent Fund

· Self-Catering Support Fund

· Taxi Sector Fund

· B&B and Guest House Support Fund

· Mobile Close Contact Services

· Brewer Support Fund

These will largely be administered by the local authorities. Information on the schemes will be posted when funding is available.

There will inevitably be some sectors not covered in the new schemes. I have corresponded with the Leader of the Council with regards to the long awaited Discretionary Fund Budget, something I have been lobbying for, which should help out those businesses who are not eligible for the Strategic Framework Business Fund or the Sectoral Funds. I have urged them to look specifically at some of the exceptions, for example Boarding Kennels/Catteries who although advised they can remain open, but have seen a huge reduction in footfall resulting in a significant impact on their income.

The Council have assured me that they will make the criteria as broad as possible when considering applications, and applicants will only be required to demonstrate if they are a business or self-employed, and that they have suffered adversely due to Covid-19 lockdown and that they are not eligible for any other funding stream.

If your business has been required to close by law or its operations have been significantly changed, then you may be eligible to apply for The Strategic Framework Business Fund. Whilst the COVID restrictions are in place, grants will be paid every 4 weeks.

The Scottish Government have announced that Hospitality businesses and Retail/Leisure businesses will be entitled to a one off grant to top up the grants they previously receive through the Strategic Framework Business Fund. If you have already applied for the 4 weekly payment from the Strategic Framework Business Fund then you will get an automatic top up. For the majority this will be combined with your next payment due on 25th January.

Applications for the Strategic Framework Fund can be made here:


Employers, please note that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30th April 2021. You can find out more information below on how you can apply for employee's wages below.


There is also The Digital Boost Development Grant which offers support to get your business online. This scheme was immediately oversubscribed, however further funding has been promised. Further information and how to apply can be found here:


Visit Scotland have this week announced The Pivotal Event Business Fund established to provide financial support to the Scottish events sector will reopen for 5 days only.

For details of how to apply, please visit


The latest funding updates can be found on Dumfries & Galloway Council website: and also on the Business Gateway website:


South of Scotland Enterprise have a number of funds available too, and are developing a Wedding Sector Support Fund. Please keep an eye on their website for all funding updates:


Our 2 Governments’ have websites to check eligibility for schemes here:

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any queries, or having issues accessing the support you should be eligible for.


Kind regards


Finlay Carson MSP

Member of the Scottish Parliament for Galloway & West Dumfries