Advice for businesses and jobseekers

Recover to Grow Fund 

This fund is now available as the result of Scottish Government Discretionary Funding, along with a Midlothian Council contribution, and will be available on a “first come, first served” basis. The fund is open from Tuesday 6 July and closes on Monday 26 July at 5pm.

It is essential that you submit a complete application, with all requested supporting documents, as incomplete applications will be rejected.

Who can get support?

The fund aims to support those businesses that have continued financial pressures which limit their ability to adopt new ways of working or to progress projects (such as green or digital projects) that will support the business to recover. Projects that will contribute to our Net Zero carbon ambitions are particularly welcomed.

Types of business

We expect to see applications from business sectors that continue to operate on a restricted basis such as soft play, hospitality (including the hospitality supply chain), travel agents, and independent retailers.

Applicants must have business premises and or employees.

Community groups

We also welcome applications from community groups delivering events and sporting activities that continue to be affected by the restrictions.

How decisions are made

Applications will be evaluated in two ways:

  • Documentation compliance – applications without the required documentation will be rejected. This means you will need to reapply. As this is a limited fund, we would highly recommend that you take your time completing the application to avoid reapplying and potentially missing out.
  • Demonstrable need – there is a section on the application form asking you to provide detail on how your business has been affected. We recommend that you tell us as much as you can so that the evaluation team have clarity on the needs and opportunities for your business.

How to apply

Apply for the Recover to Grow Fund

If, after reviewing the form, you are still unsure as to whether or not your business is eligible, email BG@midlothian.gov.uk Please provide your business name, address and contact number so that a member of the team can give you a call.

Enquiries

Once you have applied for the Recover to Grow fund, please allow 10 working days before enquiring about the progress of your application. Enquiries should be directed to: Discretionaryfund@midlothian.gov.uk

Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Driver and Operator Support Fund - 2020/21 grants

If you are having difficulty completing the online application for this fund, please call 0131 271 3377. This number is not manned due to remote working, so please leave a clear message with your name, telephone number and state that your require help with the taxi operator fund. One of our team will then give you a call back to support you through the process.

Driver Element:

All previous recipients of the Taxi and Private Hire Driver Support fund were eligible for a further £1500 grant if their licence was still valid at 3 June 2021. Midlothian Council has now processed these payments to drivers, if you have not received a payment and believe you are eligible please contact us by emailing TPH@midlothian.gov.uk

Operator Element:

Scottish Government funding for the Operator fund will open to applications from 28 June and has now been extended from 16 July to 23 July 2021.

The council has written to eligible operators. Further information and the application form can be found here:

Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Driver and Operator Support Fund – application form

If you are having difficulty completing the online application, please call 0131 271 3377. This number is not manned due to remote working, so please leave a clear message with your name, telephone number and state that your require help with the taxi operator fund. One of our team will then give you a call back to support you through the process.

We aim to make this payment within four weeks, as long as your business meets the eligibility criteria. We will contact you if we need more information.

Please allow at least 10 working days before enquiring about your payment. Do check your bank account before you contact us.

For enquiries, you can also email TPH@midlothian.gov.uk

Retail, Hospitality, Leisure and Aviation rates relief

Retail, hospitality, leisure and aviation businesses impacted by COVID-19 can apply for 100% business rates relief during 2021-22.

To get this relief, a property has to be occupied. Properties that have closed temporarily due to the government's coronavirus advice will be treated as occupied.

The City of Edinburgh Council are managing this for eligible Midlothian businesses, but you must apply if you think your business is eligible.

If your property is already in receipt of 100% non-domestic rate relief in 2021-22, such as through the small business bonus scheme, you should not apply for Retail, Hospitality, Leisure and Aviation relief.

Current restriction level

Midlothian moves from Level 2 to Level 0 from Monday 19 July.

Local Restrictions Grant from 5 June 2021

The 5 June Local Restrictions grant provides grants to specific businesses that are impacted by the Scottish Government’s decision to retain protection Level 2 restrictions in response to rates of COVID-19.

This fund will provide grants of up to £750 per week, depending on rateable value and the duration of these restrictions, subject to review. This is currently expected to be for three weeks and for specific businesses that previously received financial support through the Strategic Framework Business Fund. 

Retail, accommodation providers that are not impacted by hospitality regulations, and sectors closed by law elsewhere in Scotland at level 0 or 1 are not eligible for this additional support.

Update from 28 June 2021 – COVID-19: Route Map Extension Restrictions Fund

On 22 June 2021 the Scottish Government announced that local authorities will be kept at their current Protection Levels (PL) for an additional three-week period, with effect from 28 June 2021. 

Additional financial support will be offered for eligible businesses that are subject to ongoing restrictions at Protection Levels 1 and 2 as a result of the extension of the Route map and that were previously in receipt of support through the Strategic Framework Business Fund. This means specified casino and nightclub businesses that the regulations require to modify its operations as a result of being in Protection Level 2 are eligible from 28 June 2021.

More information

For more information on what you get, eligibility and other details, go to:

You will be taken to a page on the City of Edinburgh Council website. as they are dealing with this fund on our behalf.

How to apply

The 5 June 2021 Local Restrictions Grant and the 28 June 2021 Route Map Extension Restrictions Fund will be paid automatically to eligible businesses. There is no application process for this fund.

Business Gateway Midlothian - COVID-19 business fund enquiries

All enquiries about funding should be emailed to BG@midlothian.gov.uk 

We are only able to offer guidance if you include your name, the business name, address and postcode, and the name of the fund you are asking about. 

Are you registered with Business Gateway?

Registering with Business Gateway will provide you with a dedicated adviser who will support you in all aspects of developing and growing your business.

Coronavirus Strategic Framework Business Fund

This fund closed to new applications on 22 March 2021.

Midlothian applications are being administered by The City of Edinburgh Council. For information on this fund please see:

Payment enquiries:

If you have received confirmation that your application has been successful but either:

1. Your payment has not been received by the expected payment date, or

2. The value you have received is different to what you believe you are entitled

Funds awarded

Midlothian Council has produced an infographic factsheet, showing the level of funding support local businesses received during the pandemic, up to January 2021.

A total of £14,350,535 in Scottish Government funding was awarded up to the end of January, with 1,194 Business Support Grants paid out.  A further 223 businesses benefited from a range of other support funds.

Other business support

Our Economic Development and Business Gateway team continues to support businesses in Midlothian. The service can be contacted by email and telephone. The team also provides funding updates through regular social media posts.

Business Gateway

The Business Gateway office is closed to visitors and advisers are all working remotely. Please direct all enquiries to bg@midlothian.gov.uk during this time.

Business Gateway will continue to provide website and social media updates related to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, so please do keep checking back to stay informed.

If you need adviser support, please contact the team at the email address below.

Business Gateway contact details

Follow us on social media

Business Gateway webinars

Business Gateway has a suite of webinars and online tutorials to help you manage your business now and for the future:      

Locate in Midlothian website

If you're looking to start a new business venture, grow an existing company, relocate with your family or simply want to visit the area, the newly launched Locate in Midlothian website gives you all the tools, support and information you need.

Online details

Retail, Hospitality, Leisure and Aviation (RHLA) relief

Retail, hospitality, leisure and aviation businesses will get 100% rates relief during 2021-22. To get this relief, a property has to be occupied. Properties that have closed temporarily due to the government's coronavirus advice will be treated as occupied. 

Please note that you will be taken to a page on the City of Edinburgh Council's website.

Self Employment Income Support Scheme

The UK Government has announced a fourth grant instalment as part of the Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

This grant is equal to 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits. It will be paid out in a single instalment and capped at £7,500 in total.

The fourth instalment of this grant covers the 3-month period from 1 February 2021 to 30 April 2021.

The grants are taxable income and also subject to National Insurance contributions.

A fifth and final instalment of the SEISS grant will cover May to September 2021. This can be claimed from late July 2021 if you are eligible.

The fifth grant will be worth:

  • 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits, capped at £7,500, for those with a turnover reduced by 30% or more
  • 30% of 3 months’ average trading profits, capped at £2,850, for those with a turnover reduced by less than 30%

Eligibility

The scheme will benefit self-employed individuals or those in a partnership whose business has been adversely affected by coronavirus.. 

How to Claim

This grant scheme opened for claims from late April to 31 May 2021. You’ll be able to claim for the fifth grant from late July.. Full details of how to apply will be made available via www.GOV.UK

Further financial support for the self-employed

Current guidelines are that the self-employed can claim Universal Credit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

The Money Advice Service has issued guidance for the self-employed and sole traders, and a useful tool to help you identify what your entitlement for Universal Credit would be.

See also the section on the HMRC Self-employment Income Support Scheme above.

If you are told by the Test and Protect Service to self-isolate because of close contact with someone who has Covid-19, you may be eligible for a £500 lump sum called a self-isolation support grant

Healthy Working Lives - Safe Return to Work

Ensure you are protecting your business, employees and customers with a safe return to work plan.

Healthy Working Lives, funded by Public Health Scotland, have practical information and guidance to help your business reopen.

Complete a risk assessment and engage with your staff to keep everyone informed and safe.

Jobs support (online portal)

Are you:

  • at risk of losing your job, facing reduced hours or need support to secure work?
  • a business looking to recruit urgently to respond to high demands as a result of COVID-19?

If so, you can register your details at a new Covid-19 Jobs and Support portal. It allows you to advertise jobs, search for live vacancies, recruit employers, link to employability support and find up-to-date information on your rights.

After you register, you can search for job opportunities, add your skills and qualifications, upload your CV and cover letter, and tailor your job preferences.

Hospitality and tourism job portal

A free-to-use jobs portal to help workers from the tourism and hospitality sectors who’ve found themselves displaced as a result of COVID-19 has been launched, supported by the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) and UK Hospitality.

The portal helps those who have already been made redundant or who have had contracts terminated. It also allowed companies, such as those in the food and drink, retail and care sectors with under-employed staff, to second them to work in other sectors during the crisis. Video-screening will be provided as part of the service to speed up the recruitment process.

The portal will not be visible to the public, and can only be accessed by the tourism and hospitality community through a link provided by participating companies.

If you're having to let go of staff, or if you're an organisation wishing to register vacancies, please email HospitalityUnite@Harri.com to receive more information.     

Helplines to support businesses

More information and useful contacts