17 March 2021

Deadline fast approaching for Strategic Framework Business Fund applications

Aberdeenshire Council is reminding North east businesses of two support grants which remain open for applications for financial aid.

The Strategic Framework Business Fund which has already paid out more than £6.8 million remains open to support local eligible businesses mainly in the sectors of hospitality and non-essential retail.

However the fund is now closing and the deadline for application is March 22nd. It is vital that eligible businesses make a claim as a follow-on Restart grant will automatically apply.

Meanwhile, Aberdeenshire Council’s Discretionary Fund has provided additional support for businesses with the aim of mitigating the short-term financial challenges being experienced by businesses and to-date has paid out £2,000 to 598 businesses totalling nearly £1.2 million.

Plans are currently being made to expand this scheme with further details expected early in April.

To-date, Aberdeenshire Council has supported North-east businesses with financial aid totalling more than £60 million since the Covid-19 pandemic struck.

Through a range of Scottish Government-funded schemes and its own bespoke grants, the council’s Economic Development and Protective Services have provided crucial financial support to thousands of businesses across the region.

To-date, nearly 4,000 small businesses, firms in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors and tenant occupiers have received the vast majority of the funding at just over £43 million.

The Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund provided grants totalling £380,000 to 190 firms, while the Business Hardship Fund paid out £360,160 to 229 businesses.

The impressive figures are featured in the council’s ‘Response For Business’ document which provides a snapshot of the level of support provided to firms during the Covid emergency through funding, ongoing town centre regeneration initiatives, employability advice and retail support schemes.

The council’s bespoke Phoenix Fund which launched back in May has since offered £190,000 to 25 business associations and groups to support £340,000 worth of projects which will help town centres bounce back from the economic impact of Covid-19.

Since it was launched in July, more than £288,000 has been awarded to 47 businesses through the Business Resilience and Sustainability Scheme (BRASS) which is enabling viable businesses to invest in diversification proposals for new products or markets.

In terms of employability, Aberdeenshire Council has welcomed 327 clients onto the ‘Back to Work’ programme, supported 91 clients into education training and self/employment packages and registered 65 onto Kickstart placements.

Business Gateway teams provided more than 100 businesses with 3-days’ digital marketing support and handled 3,000 business enquiries within the first six months of the pandemic.

Belinda Miller, Head of Economic Development and Protective Services, said: “These funds continue to provide very important sources of financial support for North-east businesses which continue to face massive challenges.

“We don’t want any firms to miss out on any financial support that is available to them, and we would encourage businesses to visit our website and look at the criteria to see if they qualify for either of these grants.”

For more information on the Strategic Framework Business Fund visit:

For more information on the Discretionary Business Fund visit: http://bit.ly/DBF2021