Coronavirus (COVID-19): Government support for business

The UK and devolved governments have introduced measures to help businesses cope with the disruption caused by COVID-19, including new grants, tax reliefs and credit facilities.

Check what support your co-op is eligible for using this tool on the gov.uk website.

Our COVID-19 advice webpages will be regularly reviewed. Get updates via Email | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn. For advice enquiries please contact us on [email protected]

We want to ensure our members understand the support government is offering, what the eligibility criteria are and how they might access it. We know there is some uncertainty about eligibility for some schemes for some types of co-operative. Officials in government are working to get answers and assurances for us. There are some variances between different parts of the UK.

Jump to section: Universally applicable supportBroad eligibilitySelf-employmentRetail, leisure and hospitality/tourismSocial economy support


Universally applicable

The following schemes are open to all employers, VAT registered entities and tax paying entities. 

Job Support Scheme

What is this support?
This is a wage subsidy scheme. It is intended save jobs where there is enough business to support the employee working at least a third of their usual hours, and where the employer can afford to also pay for a third of hours not worked. Employees that work at least 33 percent of their usual hours will have their take-home pay topped up by wage subsidy. For the remaining hours not worked the employer and the government will each pay one third. This does not mean full pay because the total wage subsidy applies to two thirds of the hours not worked (as opposed to normal hours). Note that the government contribution will be capped at £697.92 per month. We will need to see more details to understand how this will work for flexible and zero hours contracts.

Who is eligible?

  • All employees (PAYE) who work at least 33 percent of their usual hours employee – they must not be on a redundancy notice
  • All SME employers in the UK with a bank account and a UK PAYE scheme
  • Large employers in the UK that can demonstrate that their business has been adversely affected by COVID-19 - government expects that large employers will not be making capital distributions (such as dividends) while using the scheme

How can you access this support?
Here is what we know so far:

  • The scheme will run for six months from 1 November 2020
  • Employers will be reimbursed in arrears for the government contribution

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

What is this support?
Government will reimburse employers for 80 per cent the wages of 'furloughed' workers (those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis) up to a cap of £2,500 per month per worker. ​This is retrospective to 1 March 2020. The could help you reduce costs in a way that avoids lay-offs. You can apply now.

Who is eligible? 
All employers in the UK are eligible, with the Chancellor making specific mention of 'not-for-profit' enterprises and charities. 

How do you get this support?
You will need to:

  • Designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers’ and notify your employees of this change (our HR Advice Team can help).
  • Submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been 'furloughed' and their earnings through a new online portal.

The scheme is retrospective to 1 March 2020. If you want to place workers on furlough, you can do so now but you must continue to pay their wages. Payments should made within six days of your claim being accepted by HMRC via the online portal. The scheme has been extended until the end of October.

From August furloughed workers were able to return to work part-time with employers being asked to pay towards the salaries of their furloughed staff.

For HR guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - includinng whether employees can be forced to go on furlough and whether wages can be reduced to the cap level - see the FAQs section on our HR Advice page

Please let Co-operatives UK know as soon as possible if you have trouble accessing this scheme. We will be actively lobbying central and local government to provide support for as many of our members as possible. Email: [email protected].

Job Retention Bonus

What is this support?
A one-off payment of £1,000 to UK employers for every furloughed employee who remains continuously employed through to the end of January 2021. The intention is to reward and incentivise employers who keep on their furloughed employees.

Who is eligible?
All UK employers. For employers to receive the £1,000 payment, the employee must earn above the Lower Earnings Limit (£520 per month) on average between the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the end of January 2021.

How do you access this support?
Payments will be made from February 2021. 

VAT Deferral

What is this support?
Government allowed businesses to defer all VAT payments for three months (20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020). The scheme helped reduce outgoings in the short term. New  measures announced in September mean all businesses which deferred VAT due in March to June 2020 have the option to spread their payments over the financial year 2021-2022. Businesses must opt in. HMRC will put in place an opt-in process for the New Payment Scheme process in early 2021.

Note: you will still have to pay VAT for this period. This is a VAT deferral, not a VAT holiday. 

Who is eligible? 
All VAT paying businesses are eligible.

Time to Pay

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s expanded Time To Pay service.

This could help reduce your outgoings and ease pressure on your business in this most challenging time. These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.


Broad eligibility

The following schemes have broad eligibility criteria that apply to a significant proportion of co-operatives and community businesses. 

Bounce Back Loan scheme (BBLS)

What is the support?

  • Loans between £2,000 and £50,000
  • Interest set at 2.5 per cent per year
  • Interest free for the first 12 months
  • No repayments due in the first 12 months
  • Loans are 100 percent guaranteed by the government

Pay as you Grow
Under this scheme all businesses that borrow under the BBLS will have the option to:

  • Extend the loan repayment period to up to 10 years
  • Move temporarily to interest-only payments for periods of up to six months (an option which they can use up to three times)
  • Pause their repayments entirely for up to six months (an option they can use once and only after having made six payments) 

Who is eligible?

You can apply for a loan if your business:

  • Is based in the UK
  • Has been negatively affected by coronavirus
  • Was not an ‘undertaking in difficulty’ on 31 December 2019

You are ineligible if you are already claiming under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). But if you've already received a loan of up to £50,000 under CBILS and would like to transfer it into the Bounce Back Loan scheme, you can arrange this with your lender until 4 November 2020.

Note: Bounce Back Loans are still debts your business will be taking on. The loan guarantees government is making are to the lender, not to help you make repayments.

How do you access a Bounce Back Loan?

Apply to one of the lenders accredited by the British Business Bank. You see the full list, which includes The Co-operative Bank, on the British Business Bank website. The application deadline for Bounce Back Loans has been extended to 30 November 2020.

If your current banking provider is an accredited lender, we suggest approaching them for a Bounce Back Loan first, as it may well be faster and more straightforward. 

Note: The Co-operative Bank will prioritise existing customers for Bounce Back Loans, whilst Clydesdale, Yorkshire, Barclays and Lloyds only appear to be offering Bounce Back Loans to existing customers. All other lenders require that you become a business banking customer with them before applying for a Bounce Back Loan, which could be time consuming and include some additional problems, for co-ops generally and societies specifically.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

What is the support?

Loans of up to £5 million in value, with the first 12 months interest free. Government guarantees 80 per cent of the loan. CBILS is overseen by the British Business Bank (a state bank) and loans are made by its accredited lenders. There will be no arrangement fees or early repayment charges. 

CBILS covers a range of business loan products including term loans, overdraft variants, asset finance facilities and invoice finance facilities.

Note: CBILS loans are still debts your business will be taking on. The loan guarantees government is making are to the lender, not to help you make repayments.

Who is eligible?

  • UK-based businesses
  • Turnover of no more than £45 million a year
  • Business must generate more than 50 per cent of its turnover from trading activity, unless a registered charity, in which case this requirement does not apply
  • Borrowing must be for business purposes
  • Borrowing proposal must demonstrate commerical viability, but for COVID-19, and a plan to trade out of short-to-medium difficulties

The following are ineligible for CBILS: banks, building societies, insurers and reinsurers (but not insurance brokers); employer, professional, religious or political membership organisation or trade unions.

Fishery, aquaculture and agriculture businesses may not qualify for the full interest and fee payment.

We believe most co-operatives should and will be eligible for CBILS. But we also anticipate some co-operatives will experience difficulties in accessing CBILS. This might be because the scheme is designed in a way which makes some types of co-op ineligible or, more likely, makes their eligibility unclear. It might also be because CBILS lenders misunderstand co-ops' business model and/or legal structure, leading to co-ops that are very much eligible for CBILS encountering obstacles and delays.

How do you access a CBILS loan?

You should approach one or more of British Business Bank’s accredited delivery partners with your borrowing proposal. See here

You may well need some specialist advice to evaluate the options in CBILS. Co-operatives UK is working with its partners on a COVID-19 business advice package, which we will share details about shortly. 

Please let Co-operatives UK know as soon as possible if you have trouble accessing CBILS. We will be working with government to ensure all co-operatives that are eligible for CBILS can access support. We also need to understand when schemes like CBILS are not working for co-operatives and community businesses. Email: [email protected].

Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund (England only)

What is this support?
Small grants up to £25,000 per business to help cover ongoing costs and ease pressure on cash flow.

Who is eligible?
Co-ops, community business, charities and social enespeis are all potentially eligible, subject to local authority discretion. This grant scheme is aimed at those small businesses that are struggling because of COVID-19 and are ineligible for other grant schemes, such as the rates-based Small Business Grant and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant. Businesses being supported via the Job Retention Scheme (‘furlough scheme’) are eligible to apply for this scheme. Businesses are ineligible if they have been supported through any of the following:  

  • Self Employment Income Support Scheme
  • Small Business Grant Fund
  • Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant

Local authorities have a huge amount of discretion in how they allocate these grants and will be setting their own policies right now. Co-operatives UK is actively encouraging local authorities to target some of this support at local co-ops and community businesses that have missed out on the other grants.

How do you access this support?

Local authorities are establishing application processes. We advise struggling co-ops who have missed out on the other grant schemes to contact their local authority as soon as possible to get more information. Councils will want to allocate this money to local businesses that support decent livelihoods and add social and economic value to their areas. Councils will also want to help businesses that are struggling to meet ongoing costs, such as rent, bills and outstanding invoices. Co-ops should prepare a clear pitch in these regards. Our briefing for local authorities can help you do this (see below). 

> Download our briefing for local authorities

If you have any questions or information to share in the meantime, contact [email protected].  

Updates on government support for co-ops will be provided via regular emails. Sign up here.

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate

What is this support?
Government will pay employers a rebate to cover the cost of up to two weeks of SSP for any COVID-19 sickness absence. The relief covers absences that occurred from 14 March 2020 onwards.

Who is eligible?
SMEs that had fewer than 250 employees as of 28 February 2020.

How do you access this support?
Government is developing its systems. Make sure you are recording all absences in the meantime. 

For HR guidance on the SSP Rebate and COVID-19 related absenteeism, see our HR Advice page.

Small Business Grant Scheme

What is this support?
A one off £10,000 grant to help small businesses meet ongoing business costs.

Who is eligible? 

Government information to business in England and Scotland says that any rate paying business that already receives either the Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief, will be eligible for the Small Business Grant Scheme.

Note: Properties that receive the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants (see below) will not receive the Small Business Grant as well.

In England, guidance to local authorities says that eligibility for the grant rests on whether a rateable premises was 'eligible' for Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief on 11 March 2020. If you have had to close your premises to the public since then, and maybe trade another way, this should not affect your eligibility for the Small Business Grant. 

We are awaiting detailed guidance for Scotland.

For variations in Wales see here.
For variations in Northern Ireland see here.

Charitable Rate Relief: uncertainity

Government information to business says that any rate paying business that 'already receives' either the Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief, will be eligible for the Small Business Grant Scheme. However government's guidance to local authorities in England says eligibility for the grant rests on 'eligibility' for Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief, which is based on rateable value of premises, not necessarily on being in receipt of particular rate reliefs. This could mean that businesses that currently get Charitable Rate Relief meet the eligibility criteria for the Small Business Grant. 

Any member with premises that have a rateable value to meet the Small Business Rate Relief (in England, under £15,000, see here) that currently receives Charitable Rate Relief, could argue the case with their local authority, citing paragraphs 16, 17 and Annex 1 of the government guidance.

How do you get this grant?

  • England - government says your local authority should contact you if you are eligible 
  • Scotland - an application process is yet to be finalised

We are concerned that the Small Business Grant may end up doing nothing for community businesses which get Charitable Rate Relief, but still rely heavily on trading income to be sustainable and so might be in serious difficulties. We are pressing government to bring forward a support package for such businesses.

In Scotland, the Third Sector Resilience Fund might be an alterative source of help (see further down). We have also heard concerns from struggling co-ops that do not operate out of rateable properties. We will be raising these concerns with government. 

Please let Co-operatives UK know as soon as possible if you have trouble accessing this grant. We will be actively lobbying central and local government to provide support for as many of our members as possible. Email: [email protected]

Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund (Scotland only)

What is this support?
Bespoke, needs-based grant awards for Scottish SME firms that can demonstrate they are vulnerable but can present a strong business case for a viable future. The fund is to support businesses with working capital to help them continue trading or to come out of hibernation when the time is right.

Who is eligible?
Co-ops could be eligible if they can demonstrate how they are ‘pivotal’ to the local, regional or national economy. Scottish Government says ‘pivotal’ means different things in different regions (e.g. urban or rural) and different contexts (e.g. industries, supply chains). Co-ops could emphasise:

  • Their pivotal economic contribution in terms of good jobs, pay and conditions
  • How they provide essential services and decent livelihoods in the context of challenging conditions  / market failures (such as rural or deprivation-related failures, consumer market failures, labour market failures, supply chain-related failures)
  • Their relationships with and contributions to workers, communities, customers, the environment
  • How they created added economic and community value
  • How their approach to business contributes to a more inclusive and sustainable economy 

Other criteria: 

  • Up to 249 employees 
  • Less than £43.689 million turnover or balance sheet total of £37.572 million
  • Can demonstrate the funding will support the business to be viable
  • Not in financial difficulty before 31 December 2019

How do you apply for this grant?
Applications are open from 30 April 2020. Read the guidance for applicants here, then apply via Scottish Government's online portal


Self-employment

The following scheme is applicable to the self-employed.

Self-employment Income Support Sceheme

What is this support?
Government is offering the self-employed a taxable grant worth 80 percent of their average profits from the tax years 2016-2017, 2017-2018 and 2018-2019, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

Who is Eligible?
For clarity, co-operatives are not eligible, though any members who are self-employed will be eligible, subject to the following criteria. You must:

  • Be a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership
  • Have submitted your Income Tax Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19
  • Have traded in the tax year 2019-20
  • Be trading when you apply, or would be except for COVID-19
  • Intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21
  • Have lost trading profits due to COVID-19
  • Have trading profits less than £50,000
  • Earn more than half of your income from self-employment

Check if you are eligible to claim here.


Retail, leisure and hospitality/tourism

The following schemes are targeted at helping businesses in retail, leisure and hospitality/tourism cope with the impacts of social distancing. It appears that within this, co-ops and community businesses that are ratepayers should be as eligible as any others, including those that receive Charitable Rates Relief and other discretionary rates reliefs. 

100% business/non-domestic rates holiday

What is this support?
Business / non-domestic rates tax holidays for retail, hospitality/tourism and leisure businesses, for the 2020-21 tax year.

In England this measure is officially called the 'Expanded Retail Discount' (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure).

Who is eligible?
England: All retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England who pay business rates, including those that receive rates reliefs, such as Charitable Rates Relief. Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments that are wholly or mainly being used:

a. As shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
b. For assembly and leisure; or
c. As hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

For the avoidance of doubt, rateable properties that receive Charitable Rate Relief will be eligible for the 100% rates holiday.

See government's guidance to local authorities regarding eligibility here

Scotland: All retail, hospitality and tourism businesses in Scotland. Scottish Government is releasing more details all the time, see here.

Wales: Qualifying properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or less. Welsh Government is releasing more details all the time, see here.

How do you get this tax holiday?
In England, government says there is no action you need to take to get this holiday. However, some councils might have sent 2020-21 bills before this was finalized.These should be ignored. In these cases councils will need to reissue updated bills to confirm the rates holiday. 

In Scotland and Wales processes are still being worked out. 

If you are unsure whether your co-op qualifies for this rates holiday, please inquire with your local authority as soon as possible. 

Please let Co-operatives UK know as soon as possible if you have trouble securing the rates holiday. Email: [email protected].

The Retail and Hospitality Grant Fund (England only)

What is this support?
A grant of £25,000 or £10,000 per qualifying property, for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses.

What is the eligibility?
Business ratepayers in England that are also benefiting from the 100% rates holiday outlined above will receive:

  • £25,000 grant per qualifying property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • £10,000 grant per qualifying property with a rateable value under £15,000 

Property usage qualifications are the same as for the 100% rates holiday outlined above. It depends on usage and qualification as of 11 March 2020. See here for more information. 

How do you get this grant?
Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant. 

If you are unsure whether any of your properties are eligible, inquire with your local authority. Please let Co-operatives UK know as soon as possible if you have trouble accessing this grant. Email: [email protected].

Retail, hospitality and leisure grant scheme (Scotland only)

What is this support?
Grants of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating out of smaller premises.

Who is eligible?
Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value between £18,001 and up to and including £50,999 will be able to apply for a one-off grant of £25,000. Scottish Government has provided more details on which properties this applies. 

How do you get this grant?
Enquire with your local authority.

Please let Co-operatives UK know as soon as possible if you have trouble accessing this grant. Email: [email protected].

Creative or Tourism and Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund (Scotland only)

What is this support?
Grants of up to £25,000 to help manage cash flow commitments.

Who is eligible?
Creative, Tourism and hospitality businesses that:

  • Are NOT in receipt of other COVID-19 government grant support, except the Job Retention Scheme ('furlough scheme')  
  • Have no more than 49 employees
  • Have experienced at least a 50 per cent loss of current or projected revenue
  • Were not in financial difficulty before 31 December 2019

This could be a vital source of grants for many co-ops that are struggling and not getting any of the rates-based grants. 

How do you apply for this grant?
Applications are open from 30 April 2020.  Read the guidance for applicants here, then apply via Scottish Government's online portal.

Retail, leisure and hospitality grant scheme (Wales)

The Welsh Government is offering a grant of £25,000 to retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £51,000. The Welsh Government is making more details available.


 

Social economy support

We know many organisations and businesses in the social economy will either be ineligible for many of these schemes, or will find of little practical help. We are pressing governments to do more to support the social economy. 

Where schemes are put in place, they are listed below.

Social Enterprise Support Fund

What is this support?

Grants of between £10,000 and £300,000 that must be spent within six months. The funding can be used for two types of support:

  • Funding for activities supporting people and communities affected by COVID-19; and/or
  • Helping organisations overcome any acute financial difficulties they are facing as result of the crisis.

Who is eligible?

Social enterprises that are:

  • Based in England
  • Incorporated social purpose organisations, with an asset lock
  • Incorporated at least a year ago (i.e. registered with Companies House, the FCA or the Charity Commission)
  • Annual income between £25,000 and £1.5 million before COVID-19
  • Was financially stable before COVID-19
  • Substantially reliant on trading income (e.g. sales and delivery of contracts) to deliver social impact 

In addition, you must be able to demonstrate your social enterprise is working in one of the following priority areas:

1) Social enterprises supporting people who are at high risk from COVID-19, specifically; connecting with older people and/or disabled people, providing advice and support to people who are pushed into crisis, providing support to those in medical care or end of life care. 

2) Social enterprises supporting people most likely to face increased demand and challenges as a result of the COVID-19 crisis – specifically social enterprises that:

  • Provide essential items directly to families who are hit hardest
  • Support BAME and other communities who experience health inequalities 
  • Support people who experience loneliness and social isolation
  • Support people who experience poor mental health 
  • Support children and young people to achieve their potential

Please read the application guidance & FAQ for full eligibility criteria.

How to apply

Apply online at https://www.socialenterprisesupportfund.org.uk/  

Round 1: Opens at 1pm on Monday 13th July, closes at 1pm on Monday 20th July 2020
Round 2: Opens at 1pm on Thursday 13th August, closes at 1pm on Thursday 20th August 2020
Round 3: Opens at 1pm on Thursday 10th September, closes at 1pm on Thursday 17th September 2020

If they are heavily oversubscribed, the portal may close early, so apply in good time before the deadline of the round you're applying for.

Community-led Organisations Recovery Scheme

What is this support?

Grants up to £100,000 to community organisations in England who are facing financial difficulties caused by Covid-19. The scheme is aimed at organisations delivering services in their local community to support people who are at high risk from Covid-19, with an emphasis on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME)-led or BAME-supporting businesses. 

Grants are available to:

  • Help people and communities experiencing disproportionate challenge and difficulty as a result of the COVID-19 crisis
  • Provide services and support for vulnerable people, for which there will be increased demand as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

Who is eligible?

Community organisations in England who are facing financial difficulties caused by Covid-19. For more information about whether your community organisation will be eligible, please read the guidance notes.

How to apply

The recovery scheme will open on Tuesday 28 July for applications from 10am till 1pm. And then for a further two rounds on Tuesday 4 August from 10am till 1pm and Tuesday 11 August from 10am till 1pm.

Find out more on the Power to Change website

National Lottery COVID 19 Fund

What is this support?
Grants of £300 to £10,000 and £10,000 to £100,000, to help charities and social enterprises cover six months of costs.  

Who is eligible?
Community benefit societies, community interest companies limited by guarantee, non-profit distributing companies limited by guarantee and charities are eligible. Priority will be given to the following:

  • Organisations supporting people who are at high risk from COVID-19
  • Organisations supporting communities most likely to face increased demand and challenges as a direct result of COVID-19
  • Organisations which connect communities and support communities to work together to respond to COVID-19

See here for more details on these three priority areas.

How do you get these loans?
It is first come first serve, with demand highly likely to far outstrip supply - get an application in as soon as possible!  Apply via the National Lottery's online portal.

Resilience and Recovery Fund

What is this support?

  • Business loans of £100,000 to £500,000
  • For one to three years
  • No interest for the first 12 months
  • Capital repayment holiday for 12 months
  • 6.5 per cent interest per annum for years 2 and 3
  • 80 per cent guaranteed by the government

Who is eligible?

Social enterprises that: 

  • Have been trading for a minimum of two years.
  • Have a minimum turnover of £400k 
  • Have a turnover of less than £45m
  • Have more than 50% of income from trading activity 
  • Trade in the UK and the loan will be used to support trading in the UK
  • Can show they have been adversely impacted by COVID-19 
  • Have a “viable” business proposition
  • Was not an “undertaking in difficulty” as of 31 December 2019

By social enterprise is meant any business meets all of the following criteria, required by Big Society Capital:

  • Has objects/purposes primarily to provide social benefit (perhaps as part of, or alongside, mutual ones)
  • 'Locked' articles/rules which ensure at least 50 per cent of surpluses are reinvested in the business and/or applied in advancement of its social mission
  • Rules/articles include a 'purpose lock' 
  • Rules/articles include a 'lock' to ensure the disposal of assets is compatible with the social mission (i.e. an 'asset lock')

Community benefit societies and community interest companies are certainly eligible. Many co-operative societies and companies will also meet these eligibility criteria, though should be prepared to provide more details and answer more questions to establish this. ​

How do you get these loans?

Apply via the Social Investment Businesses' online portal - here

Please let Co-operatives UK know if you encounter difficulties in accessing the Resilience and Recovery Fund, especially if you believe you are being incorrectly ruled as ineligible. Email our policy officer: [email protected]

Third Sector Resilience Fund (Scotland only)

What is this support?

  • Grants: Between £5,000 and £100,000 
  • Interest free loans: 0% interest loans starting at £50,000

These measures are to  help ensure the health and continued viability of third sector organisations affected by cash flow and other problems.

Who is eligible?
Social enterprises, charities and other third sector organizations working in and for Scottish communities. While co-ops are not specifically mentioned in the eligibility criteria, a significant number of co-ops in Scotland are eligible, as they meet definitions of social enterprise and/or 'other third sector'. This is especially the case if they:

  • Have social / community purposes (perhaps alongside mutual ones)
  • Reinvest a significant proportion of their surpluses back into their business 

Co-ops in Scotland should not self-exclude because of the scheme's language. 

How do you get this support?
The Fund will be delivered by Firstport, Social Investment Scotland and the Corra Foundation. The application process is now open, see here.

Please let Co-operatives UK know as soon as possible if you have trouble accessing this funding. Email: [email protected].


Please let Co-operatives UK know as soon as possible if you have trouble accessing any of the funding measures listed on this page. Email: [email protected].