Support for Aberdeenshire Business

Applying for SAB Assistance
Guide to SAB Grants
Guide to SAB Loans
Case Study



In an effort to expand the local economy Aberdeenshire Council has produced an Economic Development Strategy where the Council outlines how it will support industry in Aberdeenshire. To achieve this the Council offers assistance through its scheme – Support for Aberdeenshire Business (SAB).

SAB aims to strengthen Aberdeenshire’s economy by encouraging the expansion of local businesses.

The scheme places importance on businesses selling outwith the area or attracting money into Aberdeenshire. The ultimate goal is to secure and expand the employment base and the economy of Aberdeenshire.

SAB offers practical business advice and discretionary financial assistance, in the form of loans and grants, to both new and existing businesses throughout Aberdeenshire.


Businesses must demonstrate that they are meeting certain criteria before a project will be considered for SAB funding.
• The proposal will have to bring additional economic benefit to Aberdeenshire
• The proposal must demonstrate viability
• The proposal must have the potential to increase employment in the Aberdeenshire area
• The proposal must prove there is a need for top-up finance over and above what is available on the open market or within the business
• The proposal must not have a detrimental effect on existing Aberdeenshire businesses.

Rural shops that are vital to their local community may also be able to access SAB support.

Applying for SAB assistance

Businesses can apply for SAB assistance through any of the local officers of Aberdeenshire Council, Economic Development, found in the contact details.

Businesses applying for assistance will be asked to complete an application form demonstrating compliance with the above criteria.

Guide to SAB Grants

The grant schemes on offer are as follows:

1. Development Grants
Up to a maximum of £10,000 or 50% of the costs of the following, whichever is the lower:

  • Non statutory training
  • Research and development including product development
  • Market development
  • Implementation of a recognised quality system
  • Exhibition grant for first time exhibiting at a particular exhibition/trade show outwith North East Scotland, for costs of renting, setting up and running a stand
  • Feasibility studies for business co-operatives, community trusts and social enterprises
  • Establishment of business co-operatives, community trusts and social enterprises.

2. Job Creation Grants

Grants of up to £2,000 per job are available where at least five full time permanent jobs are being created at any one time.

3. Rural Shop Support Scheme

Grant assistance up to £7,500 or 50% of the costs, whichever is the lower, may be available to help the development and diversification of rural retail outlets, which provide small communities with general store and/or Post Office facilities. In addition retail consultancy may be available. A separate leaflet is available on the Rural Shop Support Scheme.

Guide to SAB Loans

Loans for business purposes may also be available through SAB. Loan repayment holidays may be available for a period of up to six months.

Minimum loan that can be awarded will be £5,000.

Aberdeenshire Council will not fund more than one third of any project with loan finance.

  1. Loans up to £24,999 with an interest rate of 3%, repayable over a period of up to five years
  2. Loans of £25,000 and above maybe considered but require heritable security to be provided by the applicant, these loans will be subject to a commercial rate of interest plus fees


  • Company directors are required to give repayment guarantees for loans
  • No Officer of the Council can promise assistance as every case is discretionary
  • The Council may be restricted by European State Aid Rules when offering assistance. Due to State Aid Rules we are restricted in the assistance we can give to primary industries eg fishing and farming.
  • After being awarded assistance a business or related businesses cannot apply to the SAB scheme for a further 18 months
  • The minimum grant that can be awarded is £1,000
  • No retrospective applications will be accepted. 


Further information on SAB is available from the following Business Development Executives:

Banff and Buchan Area

Buchan Area

Formartine Area, and Garioch Area

Marr Area, and Kincardine & Mearns Area

Woodhill House

Case Studies

Below is a case study where SAB funding has been utilised.

Banchory Lodge Hotel

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