Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund

On 30 April the Scottish Government introduced the Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund which is a discretionary fund worth £34 million available to provide some relief from financial hardship to individuals who became self-employed on or after 6 April 2019.


To be eligible you must have:

  • become self-employed on or after 6 April 2019
  • lost revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic
  • not been able to access support through other COVID-19 business support schemes

What does this involve?

You need to complete and submit a Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund Application for your local authority area.
To access the Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund Application click here and access the application from your local authority area.
Local Authorities will determine whether you meet the criteria which has been set by the Scottish Government.

What information do I need to provide?

You need to provide:

  • documentation to show you had an active business prior to COVID-19, such as your VAT registration, bank account statements showing revenue and outgoings linked to self-employment, marketing materials etc.
  • self-declaration that you are currently experiencing hardship (see below for guidance).
  • evidence of being resident in the local authority area of application.


What information should be contained in my Declaration?

You must sign a declaration confirming that you meet all the following criteria:

  • You became self-employed on/after 6 April 2019 (did not submit a tax return including income from self-assessment for 2018-2019).
  • Over 50% of your individual income is from self-employment.
  • Your trading profits were below £50,000 in financial year 2019-2020.
  • You have lost business due to coronavirus and are suffering financial hardship as a result.
  • You are ineligible for other COVID-19 related business support (including the Business Interruption Load Schemes, Corporate Finance Fund, Job Retention Schemes, Future Fund, R&D Focussed SME’s Fund, HMRC Self-
  • Employment Income Support Scheme, Non-Domestic Rates relief, Small Business Grants or other business support).
  • You do not receive working age benefit age benefit payments (Universal Credit, Statutory Sick Pay, Employment and Support Allowance, Job Seekers Allowance, Income Support) or have applied but not yet started receiving Universal Credit.
  • You trade as self-employed, not as a limited company or partnership.
  • You have taken steps to limit costs and expenditure (including through schemes such as VAT deferral and seeking a mortgage payment holiday).
  • You do not have access to sufficient savings or other sources of income to meet basic needs.

Will this cost me?

No, there is no cost to apply.

How long does it take?

Up to ten working days from application and funds being released for approved applications.

How much will I receive?

Successful applicants will receive a one-off payment of £2,000.

Can I still work?

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