Support for Aberdeenshire Business Scheme

The Support for Aberdeenshire Business Scheme (SAB) aims to strengthen Aberdeenshire’s economy by encouraging the expansion of local businesses. It mostly helps businesses that sell outwith the area or that attract money into the area. The ultimate goal is to secure and expand the employment base and the economy of our area.

Through SAB, we offer assistance and practical business advice to both new and existing businesses throughout Aberdeenshire. We also provide discretionary financial assistance, in the form of loans and grants:

Who can apply

Your business can apply for SAB funding if your proposal can demonstrate that it meets certain critera:

  • to bring additional economic benefit to Aberdeenshire
  • demonstrates viability
  • has the potential to increase employment in the area
  • proves there is a need for top-up finance over and above what is available on the open market or within the business
  • does not has a detrimental effect on existing businesses in the area

Rural shops that are vital to their local community may also be able to access SAB support through our Rural Shop Support Scheme.

SAB funding

We offer a range of grants and loans:

Development grants

We can offer your business up to a maximum of £10,000 or 50% of the cost (whichever is lower) towards:

  • 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 or trade show outside 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

Job creation grants

We can offer your business up to £2,000 per job, when you create at least five full time permanent jobs at any one time. Full time means a minimum of 30 hours per week.

SAB loans

Through SAB, we offer loans for business purposes:

  • up to £24,999 with an interest rate of 3%, repayable over a period of up to five years
  • £25,000 and above may be considered but require heritable security to be provided by the applicant (this will be subject to a commercial rate of interest plus fees)

Loan repayment holidays may be available for a period of up to six months.

Please note that:

  • the minimum loan that can be awarded is £5,000
  • company directors are required to give repayment guarantees for all loans
  • we are unable to offer loans to individuals, sole traders and partnerships of less than 4 persons
  • we will not fund more than one third of any project with loan finance

Assistance limitations

We are limited in the assistance that we can offer under this scheme:

  • Our officers cannot promise assistance as every case is discretionary
  • European State Aid Rules restrict us in the assistance we can give to primary industries such as fishing and farming
  • After being awarded assistance, your business or a related business cannot apply again for 18 months
  • The minimum grant that can be awarded is £1,000

We cannot accept retrospective applications.

How to apply

To apply for a grant or loan, contact your local economic development officer.

They will ask you to complete an application form. You will need to submit this form together with your proposal demonstrating that you meet the criteria.

Case study

View the Banchory Lodge Hotel case study (pdf 79KB) where they used SAB funding.

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