Fund for Businesses in the Wedding Sector

January 26th 2021

What is the fund?

A £25 million fund to support the wedding sector and its supply chain will open to applications this week.

Launching on Thursday 28 January, the fund will provide one-off grants of up to £25,000 for eligible businesses in the sector including wedding venues, photographers, caterers and suppliers.

This new fund aims to provide support to businesses whose main income comes from the wedding and civil partnerships industry, which has been significantly impacted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s provided by the Scottish Government and administered by Scottish Enterprise, South of Scotland Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

What’s on offer?
The fund offers a fixed grant amount based on turnover. The funding tiers are:

– A £5,000 grant for businesses with a pre-COVID-19 turnover between £10,000 and £49,999
– A £10,000 grant for businesses with a pre-COVID-19 turnover between £50,000 and £99,999
– A £15,000 grant for businesses with a pre-COVID-19 turnover between £100,000 – £249,999
– A £25,000 grant for businesses with a pre-COVID-19 turnover of more than £250,000

Applications will be appraised in the order they’re received until the full fund has been allocated and there’s no fixed closing date for this fund – it will close when the full fund has been allocated.

Who is eligible?
To be eligible for this fund, your business must:

– Be operating in Scotland with a Scottish trading address.
– Have started trading on or before 31 December 2019.
– Have been generating an annual turnover of at least £10,000 before March 2020 (or on a pro rata basis if you hadn’t been trading a full year by March 2020).
– Be a micro, small or medium enterprise as defined by the European Commission definitions.
– Be your main income (if you’re a sole trader). People with full time employment who occasionally provide products or services to the wedding industry will not be eligible.
– Have been generating at least 50% of its income from wedding bookings before the COVID-19 pandemic.
– Have lost at least 50% of its overall turnover due to the pandemic.
– Intend on continuing to trade in the wedding industry after the COVID-19 pandemic.
– Not have received a one-off £25,000 payment from the Hospitality Sector Top-Up Payment (this is the amount given to businesses with a Non-Domestic Rates rateable value of £51,000 or over). If you have received this automated payment, you will have been notified within the last few weeks.

Businesses must also be in one of the following sectors:

– Venues
– Videographers
– Photographers
– Marquee Hire (includes tipi)
– Wedding Attire
– Florists & Event Stylists
– Caterers
– Cakes
– Transport (not including taxis)
– Event Supplies (Cater hire, decorative items)
– Hairdressers & Make-up Artists (Non-mobile)
– Entertainment (Band, DJ, Piper, String Quartet)
– Jewellery Designers/Makers/Sellers
– Wedding Exhibitions/Events
– Wedding Publications or Listing Sites
– Celebrants
– Wedding Stationery
– Other Specialist Niche Suppliers (Photo Booth, Event nannies, event planners etc)

How to apply
You must be a director, owner, chair, president, CEO, partner or trustee to apply for this fund. Applications aren’t open yet, but when they are (28 January), you will need to know the following information:

– For registered companies, a Companies House number. You’ll find this on the Companies House website.
– For registered charities, a Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) number. You’ll find this on the OSCR website.
– For sole traders, a VAT number if you have one, or a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number. A VAT number contains 9 digits and usually starts with ‘GB’. You’ll find it on VAT documents from HMRC. A UTR number may also be referred to as a ‘tax reference’ number. It’s a 10 digit number that should be on previous tax returns or other tax documents from HMRC.
– For partnerships, the UTR numbers of up to 4 partners.
– Your bank details for this business. If you’re a sole trader, you may provide a personal account, as long as you can show it has been used for business purposes. If you’re any other type of business, you must provide a business bank account. Check these details carefully as we won’t be able to update your bank details after you submit your application.
– Your turnover for your last full trading year before March 2020. This will depend on your business’s financial year. For example, if your year ends in October, provide your turnover from October 2018 to October 2019. If you’ve not been trading a full year, use the turnover you generated up to March 2020 which we’ll consider on a pro rata basis.

– You’ll also need to provide the following evidence:
– For trusts, a copy of your Deed of Trust.
– Evidence of UTR numbers (if you need to provide one), such as a HMRC document.
– A bank statement from the last 3 months.
– A bank statement showing you were trading before 31 December 2019.
– Evidence of your pre-COVID turnover. This should be your last full year audited or unaudited accounts, or a tax return. If you haven’t been trading a full year and don’t have these documents, provide whatever documentation you can.
– Any information you give about your business (such as your registered name and address) MUST match the information held by official bodies such as HMRC, Companies House or the OSCR. We’ll be using these official bodies to verify your business, so make sure this information is up to date before you apply.
– Be aware that by submitting your application, you’ll be accepting the terms and conditions of the fund and agreeing to enter into a contract with the relevant agency if your application is successful.
– After 31 March, some applications may be chosen at random to be audited. Any applicants who have been found to have provided incorrect information will be expected to return their awarded grant.