Now open for applications

This grant is specifically aimed at small businesses (less than 50 employees) based in North Ayrshire which are experiencing financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions and regulations introduced since October 2020. You should not apply for this fund if you are eligible for any scheme of support introduced or announced by Scottish Government since 1 October 2020.

The funding allocated to North Ayrshire Council from the Scottish Government is finite and will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. If we ask you to provide further information to support your application, please submit this within seven days. If submitted after this time, your application will become invalid and you will need to submit a new application. This new application will be considered in order of date and time received.

We expect a high volume of applications for this grant and so it may be suspended to allow a review of the remaining funds available.

Eligible businesses will receive a payment of £2,000.


The following categories of businesses can apply for the COVID-19 Discretionary Fund:

  • Limited Companies (including Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations and social enterprises)
  • Sole Traders
  • Trusts, Partnerships
  • Community Interest Companies
  • Freelancers

This may include, but is not restricted to, suppliers of goods or services to those who have been closed or restricted by legislation, but will not include those who have been unable to trade as a result of personal circumstances.

To be eligible for the COVID-19 Discretionary Fund, businesses must meet the following criteria:

  • Be based/headquartered in North Ayrshire.
  • Have less than 50 employees.
  • Not be eligible for any other funding introduced since 31 October 2020 by the Scottish Government, including any new schemes of support which may be announced by the Scottish Government before the end of March 2021.
  • Not be connected to a tax haven, as set out in the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No 2) Act 2020.
  • Can demonstrate a detrimental impact on trade from COVID-19 restrictions (you may be asked to evidence this).
  • Have been trading before 17 March 2020, and intend to continue trading for the remainder of the tax year 2020-21.
  • Have a business bank account into which grant payments will be made (for self-employed people, discretion will be applied as long as there is clear evidence of trading from personal bank statements provided).
  • Can provide evidence of active trading in the period before restrictions came into place on 9 October 2020.
  • If self-employed, can confirm that at least 50% of their annual income is derived from self-employment.

Businesses which are NOT eligible for the fund include:

  • Any business in administration, insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made.
  • Any business in receipt of an enforcement notice as a result of breaching COVID-19 Regulations.


If you have been awarded or are eligible for other funding

Any business which is eligible for any of the schemes below, will be INELIGIBLE for a COVID-19 Discretionary Fund and cannot apply to this fund:

  • Strategic Framework Business Fund
  • Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund
  • Mobile Close Contact Services, Hairdresser & Driving Instructor Support Fund
  • Temporary Restrictions Fund for Childcare Providers
  • Creative Industries Business Support Fund
  • Events Industry Support Fund
  • Travel Agents Fund
  • Tour Operators Fund
  • Visitor Attractions Fund
  • Brewer Support Fund
  • Destination Management Organisations Support Fund
  • Grassroots Music Venue Stabilisation Fund
  • Indoor Football Centres Fund
  • Museums Recovery and Resilience Fund Top up
  • Outdoor Tourism Sector Recommissioning Fund
  • Travelling Show People Support Fund
  • Wedding Sector Support Fund

Please note this list of funds is not exhaustive. For a full list of funds, please see

Applying for the COVID-19 Discretionary Fund

Applications to the COVID-19 Discretionary Fund are via an editable PDF or WORD document, which must be submitted by email. There are no online or postal applications.

To apply for the COVID-19 Discretionary Fund, you will need to download this application form

Before you complete your Application Form, you should read this

You will also need to submit Supporting Documents, which we suggest you look out in advance.

This includes, for ALL APPLICANTS:

  • Copy of proof of identity such as a valid passport or driving licence, including provisional driving licence.
  • Proof of business address (e.g. full page of a recent Council Tax bill, Rates bill, utility bill or rental agreement. If home based or mobile this is your home address.)
  • PDF copies of TWO bank statements, showing business income and related outgoing expenditure, one from January , February or March 2020 and the other from Dec 2020, Jan 2021 or Feb 2021.  This must be the account grant payments should be made to.
  • You can request a PDF version of your statement from your bank or through online banking if you have it. If a PDF copy cannot be provided, a clear/legible photograph of the first full page of the bank statement will be acceptable, but you may be required to provide further evidence.

PLUS, depending on the legal status of your organisation:

  • Limited Company – Companies House Certificate of Incorporation
  • Sole Trader/Self-employed/Freelancer – A recent screenshot or photo of your business tax account page from the HMRC portal clearly showing your full name and Unique Taxpayer Reference number. OR another form of official communication from HMRC with your name and UTR shown
  • Partnership– Partnership agreement AND HMRC registration
  • SCIO, Social Enterprise, Community Interest Company, Trust– Constitution documents, HMRC registration VAT registration document

You will also be required to confirm:

  • Your UTR/Companies House Registration Number
  • Number of employees (including yourself)
  • The rateable value of your premises if applicable
  • The date your business started trading
  • Turnover figure for your business 2019/20 & projected turnover 2020/21
  • Your bank account details (for BACS transfer where appropriate)


Submitting your form & supporting documents

You should email your completed form to

For enquiries about the COVID-19 Discretionary Fund, email: