Coronavirus Update: 22 September

By the time you read this, we may be subject to new restrictions to address the Covid-19 pandemic – which will undoubtedly present even more challenges for rural businesses across Scotland. As usual, we have a selection of opportunities and funding updates for you in this blog so you can stay informed on what help is out there. And if you’d like to be cheered up, join us at our XChange networking event on Thursday evening. Our speaker Donald ‘Sweeny’ Macsween from Air An Lot in Lewis will entertain and inform us with his story of creating and then diversifying a business on an island.



Community & Third Sector Recovery Programme: The Community & Third Sector Recovery Programme is a £25m Scottish Government funded programme aiming to support charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations that are supporting people and communities through the shift from lockdown to recovery. It has two strands, both now open for applications:

  1. The Adapt and Thrive Programme: This programme aims to support organisations across the third sector to adapt to the challenges presented by COVID-19 and build back better to thrive in the future. The programme will help organisations to make the necessary changes to operate sustainably so they can continue to have a positive impact On people and communities. More information can be found on the SCVO website.

  2. Communities Recovery Fund: This fund aims to support the delivery of services in communities that were suspended or reduced because of COVID, or the creation of new services that tackle new challenges presented by COVID. Read the details here.


Kickstart Scheme: The government has launched its fund to create 6-month work placements aimed at those aged 16 to 24 who are on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long term unemployment. Funding available for each job will cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions. Check eligibility and apply here.

Youth Work Education Recovery Fund: This fund will be targeted at those communities and young people who need the most support and is open for applications from Community Learning and Development services that help young people engage and re-engage with learning. Submissions should support partnership work between November 2020 and the end of August 2021. Find out more here.


#ShiftThePower Coronavirus Response Fund: This fund will help grassroots organisations in Scotland to support vulnerable individuals, families, and communities, including coping with the impacts of Coronavirus. It will support projects that are community and people led, and organisations can include project and core costs. The work to be supported needs to fit with one of four strategic themes. Find out more here.


First Port Pounds for Purpose: You can apply for Pounds for Purpose funding if you have an idea to generate positive change, are aged 16-26 and need some funding to put your idea into action. They can provide business support if you decide to turn your idea into a business. Find out more here.


Women in Innovation Awards 2020/21: Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, is offering 10 Women in Innovation Awards to female entrepreneurs across the UK. The winners will receive a £50,000 grant and a bespoke package of mentoring, coaching and business support. Apply here.


Digital Scotland: The Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme (SBVS), aimed to help rural homes & businesses get superfast broadband, is now live and open to applications. Check out Digital Scotland's voucher scheme page for further details here.


September RYP Ideas Cafe: THE POWER OF CONVERSATIONS – THE JOURNEY OF BRINGING AN IDEA TO LIFE: Join this event on Friday the 25th of September to hear from two inspiring speakers, Luke Taylor and Treasa Ni Cheadagain , who after attending the Rural Youth Project 2019 Ideas Festival, were inspired to set up their own exciting venture. Register here.


‘Escape the Everyday’ Campaign: A new UK-wide campaign to encourage people to take a domestic break during autumn and winter has been launched by the UK’s national tourism organisations and is calling for tourism businesses, visitor attractions and destinations across the UK to get involved. Find out how here.


Care and Wellbeing CiC: This care and wellbeing community exists to support both clients and providers of care. They are currently encouraging new members to join and will warmly welcome all local professionals who believe in local, compassionate, flexible and personalised care and wellbeing. To join, complete the simple contact form here.


As always, if you have questions about any of the opportunities in this blog, would like help in applying for funding or are in need of any other type of enterprise support, do get in touch at connect@growbiz.co.uk

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