Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is encouraging eligible businesses in the region to prepare themselves to apply to the Scottish Wedding Industry Fund.
The Scottish Government has invested £25million in the new Fund, which opens on Thursday 28 January and runs until the fund is fully allocated.
The fund aims to help as many businesses as possible operating in the Scottish wedding industry – and their supply chain – to survive the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and then restart once restrictions ease, thus protecting jobs.
The Scottish Wedding Industry Fund is open to eligible businesses whose main income comes from the wedding sector, offering grants of between £5,000 and £25,000 depending on turnover.
The fund is being provided by the Scottish Government and administered by a partnership of Scottish Enterprise, South of Scotland Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
At this extremely challenging time, the funding will be distributed in the order applications are received to ensure those businesses eligible for support are provided with it as efficiently as possible.
Eligible businesses are being encouraged to ensure they are prepared to provide evidence of:
A bank statement from the last three months
A bank statement showing you were trading before 31 December 2019
Evidence of your pre-COVID turnover.
This should be the last full year audited or unaudited accounts, or a tax return.
If a business has not been trading a full year and do not have these documents, they should provide whatever documentation they can.
In addition, some eligible applicants will need to provide evidence of Unique Taxpayers Reference (UTR), such as an HMRC document, and for Trusts a copy of their Deeds of Trust.
Businesses are encouraged to visit https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/ for further details including full eligibility criteria.
Carroll Buxton, deputy chief executive at HIE, said:
“The Highlands and Islands has always been a popular destination for weddings and the wedding industry is an integral part of our tourism and hospitality sector.
“With restrictions in place over the past year, many businesses whose main income is from weddings will have been hit hard by cancellations.
“The Scottish Wedding Industry Fund is about supporting those businesses through the current difficulties and on to recovery.
“We look forward to working with our partner agencies in maximising the benefits of the fund across the whole country.”