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Newly self-employed hardship fund

The purpose of this fund is to provide hardship relief to newly self-employed employed individuals who have not been able to access support through other schemes or have exhausted all other avenues for business support.

If you are newly self-employed facing hardship and you meet all the criteria, you are eligible for a £2,000 grant.

You must be an Aberdeenshire resident to apply for this fund.

If you receive the grant you can continue to work or take on other employment including voluntary work.

Check if you are eligible

To be eligible you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Became self-employed on or after 6th April 2019 (did not submit a tax return including income from self-employment for 2018-19)
  • Over 50% of individual income is from self-employment
  • Trading profits below £50,000 in financial year 2019-20
  • Can provide evidence of active trading up to March 2020 and intend to continue trading in the tax year 2020-21
  • Have lost business due to coronavirus and experience personal financial hardship as a result
  • Ineligible for other COVID-19 related business support (including the Business Interruption Loan Schemes, Corporate Finance Fund, Job Retention Schemes, Future Fund, Reaserch and Development Focused SMEs Fund, HMRC Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, Non-Domestic Rates relief, Small Business Grant or other business support)
  • Do not receive working age benefit payments (Universal Credit, Statutory Sick Pay, Employment and Support Allowance, Job Seekers’ Allowance, Income Support) or have applied for but not yet started receiving Universal Credit or an advanced payment of Universal Credit
    Trade as self-employed, not as a limited company or partnership
  • Have taken steps to limit costs and expenditure (including through schemes such as VAT deferral and seeking a mortgage payment holiday)
  • Do not have access to sufficient savings or other sources of income to meet basic needs
  • You are an Aberdeenshire resident
  • You have not submitted any other applications for this grant to Aberdeenshire Council or any other local authority

Request application form

To request a self employed hardship fund application form please email

Supporting documents

You will need to provide some electronic evidence with your application. You can either take photos of the documents or provide them as PDFs.

You will need to provide:

  • Proof of identity, ideally photographic (for example a valid passport or driving licence)
  • Proof of address (for example a recent council tax bill or utility bill)
  • Three forms of evidence of active trading up to March 2020

Bank statements must be one of the forms of evidence of active trading. They can be business or personal statements and they must cover 3 months to March 2020 showing income and outgoings from self-employment.

Further forms of evidence of active trading can be any two of the following:

  • A supplier or reseller trade account (active)
  • Valid business insurance
  • HMRC Unique Taxpayer Reference if registered (if not yet registered, copy of correspondence or other details showing registration is being sought, or provide further details to explain position)
  • VAT Registration Number
  • Marketing materials for your business, for example business website, active social media – provide web links
  • Other evidence of business activity to support your claim for example correspondence with customers or suppliers

How we process applications

Aberdeenshire Council is administering this scheme on behalf of the Scottish Government. We aim to process applications within 10 working days of submission. If you have any enquiries please contact