Aberdeen City Council & Aberdeenshire Council: Phase 2 Discretionary Business Fund

Phase 2 of the discretionary business fund is to mitigate to short-term challenges that have negatively impacted certain businesses.

This allows local authorities to directly provide additional financial help to specific groups, sectors and businesses within the local area who have faced financial challenges because of Covid-19 restrictions.

The intention of the grant is to support qualifying businesses that have incurred losses to date – they are not intended to aid the startup of a business. There are two separate grants offered for businesses located in the Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire council areas.


Aberdeen City Council

Business Type Award
Individuals – sole traders, partnerships, limited companies that have no additional employees other than the directors, partners or a spouse as an employee One off grant of £2,500
Micro Business – 2-9 employees not including directors, partners, or spouses One off grant of £5,000
Small Business – 10-49 employees One off grant of £10,000
Medium Business – 50-250 employees One off grant £15,000
New Business: businesses that have been operating less than 12 months or they are unable to demonstrate losses in comparison to 2020/21 financial year One off grant of £2,500


It should be noted that these are single payments per business. Businesses that have multiple premises will only be eligible for one payment.

This fund will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis.



To be eligible for the above grants, the following criteria should be met:

  • The company’s trading income must have been significantly impacted financially due to Covid-19. It should be at least 30% less than the previous year’s income level.
  • The business should be based or have a headquarters based in the Aberdeen City area
  • The company should have a business bank account. Personal bank accounts are accepted for those self-employed if you can provide bank statements that have the business-related transactions on these.
  • Unless applying for a new business grant, you must be able to demonstrate that your business has been actively trading up to March 2020 and be registered as a business prior to March 23, 2020. For new businesses, to be eligible for the new business support – you must have begun trading at some point in 2020.



You should NOT apply for this fund if you have received any of the following support from the Scottish government/Council since 1 October 2020:

  • Coronavirus Strategic Framework Business Fund
  • Taxi and Private Hire Driver Support Fund
  • COVID-19 Museum Development Fund
  • Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers
  • Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund
  • Food and Drink Resilience Wholesale Fund
  • Wedding and Events Venues and Accommodation Providers Fund
  • Mobile Close Contact Services
  • Bed and Breakfasts, guesthouses, and self-catered accommodation
  • Travel Agents
  • Tour Operators
  • Breweries
  • Indoor Football Centers
  • Coach and Tour Operators, Visitor Attractions, Visitor Accommodation Hostels


If you received a grant from the phase one of the discretionary fund, then your business will not be eligible to apply for the second phase. The priority of issuing the grants are with businesses who have received no support to date.

It should also be considered that potentially receiving a grant from the discretionary fund could potentially impact the eligibility for the specific sector schemes listed above.


Funding Exemptions

Employers that have been in receipt of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or Individuals in receipt of the Income Support Scheme can still apply for this fund but these grants will be considered as income when assessing your eligibility.

Businesses should check their eligibility for these schemes and apply to them (where relevant) before considering applying for a Discretionary Business Disruption Grant.

Further details on all of the new funding schemes are available at www.findbusinesssupport.gov.scot


To Apply:

You will need to set up an online account if you are not already registered.

When you have successfully submitted your application form, you will receive a confirmation email with a reference number.




Aberdeenshire Council

Applications for the discretionary fund for Aberdeenshire Council are open between April 19, 2021 – May 21, 2021. It provides enhanced grants to existing recipients of the Discretionary Business Fund and additionally extends eligibility to business types that were previously excluded.


Enhanced grants for existing recipients will be increased in line with the number of employees that a business has:


Number of employees Second payment Total grant
0 £2,000 £4,000
1-9 £4,000 £6,000
10-50 £8,000 £10,000


Businesses do not need to re-apply and the top-up payments will be made following checks being made on the number of employees that a business has.

Please note that this fund will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis.



Extended eligibility includes two groups of businesses that previously have been excluded:

  • Eligible businesses with between 50 and 250 employees will be entitled to a single grant payment of £20,000
  • New start businesses that were established between March 2020 and before November 2, 2020 will be entitled to a single grant of 50% of the grant for existing businesses, the grant is again dependent on the employee number:


Number of employees Total Grant
0 £2,000
1-9 £3,000
10-50 £5,000


To be eligible for the Aberdeenshire Council Discretionary Fund Grant, the following criteria must apply:

  • Business trading prior to November 2, 2020
  • Business must be based in Aberdeenshire
  • Must have a valid VAT, PAYE, Companies House registration, SCIO, CIC or UTR number
  • Business has not been eligible for any coronavirus funding since October 2020
  • Business must have had a turnover greater than £250 per month
  • Business has not received an enforcement notice because of breaching Covid-19 regulations
  • Business is not in administration, insolvency or received notice to be struck off Companies House
  • Business can evidence a 30% negative financial impact from Covid-19 restrictions
  • For businesses with employees: a copy of the most recent payroll report submitted to HMRC


To Apply:

Phase 2: https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/media/26168/discretionary-fund-application-form-phase-2.pdf

New start: https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/media/26170/discretionary-fund-application-form-new-start.pdf

Please send the completed form to discretionaryfund@aberdeenshire.gov.uk together with the necessary evidence outlined within the application.


Staying up to date

Our ethos at Infinity Partnership has always been that we are not just your accountants, but your partners in business – and in these challenging times this has never been more important.

We want to assure you that we are doing everything we can to help you, and should you have any question, big or small, please get in touch.

We are here to help.

We will be releasing various documents with help and advice through various channels.  Please connect with our team on LinkedIn and Twitter:


Simon Cowie – Manging Director – https://www.linkedin.com/in/simon-cowie-ab36714b/

Greg Houston – Associate Director – https://www.linkedin.com/in/greg-houston-95900a42/

Alex Graham – Client Relationship Manager – https://www.linkedin.com/in/alex-graham-b78390138/

Bruce Giles – Client Relationship Manager – https://www.linkedin.com/in/bruce-giles-189a4b62/

Mark Rhynas – Tax Manager – https://www.linkedin.com/in/mark-rhynas-att-1712265b/


Infinity Partnership on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/company/infinity-partnership-limited/

Infinity Partnership on Twitter – https://twitter.com/InfinityABDN