Smarter accounting

Scottish Wedding Industry Fund

27 January 2021, Artists, Charities, Companies, Creative Industries, Musicians, Sole Traders

Get up to £25,000 for Scottish Wedding Industry

The new Scottish Wedding Industry Fund opens for applications on 28 January 2021.  If your business gets most of its income from weddings you could qualify for a grant of up to £25,000.

The fund is available to jewellers, pipers and wedding bands as well as caterers and wedding hire businesses.

The Scottish Wedding Industry Fund could give you up to £25,000

How does the Scottish Wedding Industry Fund work?

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 is provided by the Scottish Government and administered by Scottish Enterprise, South of Scotland Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

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

Can I bide my time and apply in a month or so?

Applications will be processed in the order they are received until the full fund has been allocated.  There is no fixed closing date for this fund  but it will close when the full fund has been allocated.  The fund is very likely to be oversubscribed so make a start today!

Am I 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

You must also meet the criteria in the ‘who is this for’ section.

Who is this for?

If your business has its main income from the wedding and civil partnerships industry you could qualify.  It is available to registered companies, as well as sole traders, partnerships, registered charities and trusts.

The Scottish Wedding Industry Fund is aimed at supporting businesses who provide one or more of the following services to the wedding industry:

  • Cakes
  • Caterers
  • Celebrants
  • Event supplies (such as catering hire or decorative items)
  • Entertainment (for example, a band, DJ, piper, string quartet) If your band is formed of individual sole traders, each eligible sole trader can submit an application. If the band is a single entity like a partnership or registered company, you should submit one application per band.
  • Florists & event stylists
  • Jewellery designers/makers/sellers
  • Marquee hire (including tepee hire)
  • Non-mobile hairdressers & make-up artists (a separate grant will be available soon for mobile services)
  • Photographers
  • Specialist niche suppliers (for example, a photo booth, event nanny or other niche service)
  • Transport (excluding taxi drivers, who should be contacted directly about a separate grant by their local councils)
  • Venues (where at least 50% of your income comes from hosting ceremonies or reception events. Venues who provide accommodation only are not eligible)
  • Videographers
  • Wedding attire
  • Wedding exhibitions/events
  • Wedding listing sites
  • Wedding planners
  • Wedding publications
  • Wedding stationery

This fund is not intended to support groups of companies.  If you are part of a group, with consolidated accounts, only one application per group can be made.

Where you own more than one business, you can submit an application for each business as long as they operate as legally separate businesses for tax purposes.  Each business must have a separate registration number, Unique Taxpayer Reference or VAT number.  If the businesses share these reference numbers, you must only submit one application.

Important information

You must be a director, owner, chair, president, CEO, partner or trustee to apply for this fund.

You won’t be able to save your application as you go, so make sure you have the following information handy:

  • 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.

Will anyone check my application?

After 31 March 2021, 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.

Tips for completing the form

We are getting reports that the application form won’t work properly on Chrome.  We suggest you use Safari or Firefox.

When entering your turnover figure, you need to state it in whole pounds (i.e. 15000 and not 15000.00)

How can I prove my figures?

Alterledger can help you compile accounts and work out the split of income between weddings and any other sources of income.  We can produce unaudited accounts to verify your figures.

If you aren’t already set up on Xero, we can link your business bank account to online accounting software to help you get your business back on its feet when the COVID restrictions are lifted.

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