Mobile And Home Based Close Contact Services Fund

This post shares details around the Scottish Government’s Mobile and Home-Based Close Contact Services Fund.


What does this involve? This information is to help you understand the eligibility criteria for the Scottish Government’s Mobile and Home-Based Close Contact Services Fund. It gives you all the details that you will need to provide if you want to apply.

The funding is being provided by the Scottish Government. Eligible applicants will receive a one-off £4,000 payment (£2,000 for the period to end December 2020 and a further £2,000 to cover the period from January 2021 onwards). Once the fund opens, it will be open to applications for a four-week period. To be eligible for this grant you must:

  • have been operating your business before 17 March 2020

  • have lost income as a result of Covid-19 restrictions

  • meet all of the eligibility criteria

This fund is for owners and operators of mobile and home-based close contact service businesses and for registered driving instructors. It is not for employees of those businesses. If you are an employee of one of those businesses you should speak with your employer on your eligibility for support through the UK Government’s Job Retention scheme. If you think you are eligible and intend to apply, please gather all of the information and supporting evidence outlined in the "Important information" section. Am I eligible? To be eligible you must own and operate a business that meets the definition of a Close Contact Service Provider in the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions and Requirements) (Local Levels) (Scotland) Regulations. We have listed examples of the types of business covered by the Regulations below.

You must operate your business primarily on a mobile basis or from home. By "mobile" we mean that you routinely (more than 50% of the time) operate your business from multiple locations, and not exclusively from fixed premises used solely for business purposes. If you have already benefited from business grant support as a result of operating from fixed business premises, you are not eligible to apply for further support from this fund. Registered driving instructors can also apply to the fund. To meet the close contact services eligibility criteria, you will need to be able to confirm that you own and operate a business providing any of the following services:

  • beauty and nail services (including make-up services, tanning and spray-tanning and nail treatment)

  • hair removal services (including hairdressing, barbering, shaving, waxing, eyebrow threading and laser hair removal)

  • body modification services (including tattooing, piercing, micropigmentation and botox)

  • fashion services (including dress-fitting, tailoring and personal shopping)

  • art services (including indoor photography and portrait painting)

  • massage therapies (including Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, Thai massage, scalp massage, Rolfing etc)

  • spa and wellness services (including aromatherapy, exfoliation, dermatology and skincare, facial, hydrotherapy, manicure, pedicure, reiki)

The following complementary and alternative medicine services requiring physical contact or close physical proximity between persons are eligible:

  • Acupuncture

  • Acupressure

  • Alexander Technique

  • Bowen therapy or Bowenwork

  • Craniosacral Therapy

  • Homeopathy

  • Hypnotherapy

  • Meditation

  • Reflexology

  • Kinesiology

  • Shiatsu

Please note that osteopathy, physiotherapy and chiropractic services are not eligible for this fund because these are defined as health services and have not been subject to restrictions. Individuals are only eligible for one grant under this scheme and you will not receive an additional payment if you provide more than one of the services above. In addition, you must confirm that you:

  • are ordinarily resident in Scotland

  • are operating in Scotland with a Scottish trading address

  • derive over 50% of your income from the defined business activities listed above

  • were actively trading as a mobile or home-based close contact service provider or registered driving instructor before 17 March 2020

  • have not received financial support through any of the following schemes: Strategic Framework Business Fund, Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, COVID-19 Restrictions Fund Closure and Hardship Fund, Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers, Wedding Sector Support Fund

  • trade as self-employed or as a limited company and are registered with Companies House or HMRC as the owner and operator of the specified business

  • have not breached any COVID regulations/requirements for businesses

Those who are employees of companies that offer any of the services listed above are not eligible to apply for support through this fund. Employees of mobile or home-based close contact service businesses should be eligible for support through the UK Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and should contact their employer to explore that route to financial support. Eligible limited companies and partnership businesses are only able to apply for one grant per business (multiple applications cannot be made to this fund for a single business). What does this cost? It’s free to apply and the grant does not need to be repaid. However, if you provide incorrect information and are later found to be ineligible for the fund, you will be expected to return the grant money in full and immediately. If you are in receipt of Universal Credit or some other Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) benefits, receiving this grant may affect your benefit entitlement. This could mean you need to pay some money back to DWP, or that your future payments are reduced. How this affects you will depend on your individual circumstances. You may wish to contact DWP to confirm how it could affect you before making an application. Any grant awarded may be taxable. Any payment must be declared to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as part of your tax return. For further information on your tax position, you can contact HMRC's Coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline. Who is this for? Owners and operators of mobile and home-based close contact service businesses and registered driving instructors in Scotland. How long does this take? The fund will be open to applications for four weeks. Important information What information do I need to provide? You will need to provide the following information as part of the application process. The application process will be online. All supporting information must be in the right format to be submitted electronically (online).

You cannot resubmit your application if you make an error, and there is no appeals process after the fund closes, so make sure you read this information carefully. For registered companies:

  • Your Companies House registration number. You’ll find this on the Companies House website

For sole traders:

  • Your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR). A UTR number may also be referred to as a ‘tax reference’ number. It’s a 10 digit number that should be on tax returns or other tax documents from HMRC or on your account page on the HMRC web portal

  • A recent screenshot or photo of your business tax account page from the HMRC portal clearly showing your full name and Unique Taxpayer Reference number. Or another form of official communication from HMRC with your name and UTR shown

In addition to core information on yourself and your business, such as name and address and name of business, you will also need to provide:

  • Your bank account details for this business including the sort code, account number and branch location. If you’re a sole trader, you may provide a personal account, as long as you can clearly show that it has been used for business purposes

  • A bank statement clearly showing evidence of business transactions. One month’s bank statement from anytime within the period between 17 March 2019 and 17 March 2020 will be acceptable. You will need to make sure your uploaded document or screenshot clearly shows the account name, bank name, account number and sort code

  • Your National Insurance Number

  • Your business website address and/or social media web links such as Facebook or Instagram (if you have one)

We are unable to pay more than one grant award into a bank account. Joint account holders that are eligible to apply for different businesses should provide alternative bank account details. This will avoid your application being rejected as a duplicate. Applications which contain inaccurate information or data that we are unable to authenticate will be rejected. 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. We’ll be checking and verifying all of the information you provide that relates to your business. Please make sure the information you give is up-to-date before you apply. In addition to the verification checks, applications will be audited. Any applicants who have been found to have provided false information will be expected to return their awarded grant immediately, and could face criminal proceedings. We expect a large number of applications for this fund and will assess these strictly in the order in which we receive them. Next steps If you want to apply, carefully read the "What information do I need to provide" section. Make sure you have all the information and documents ready before you apply. Watch the video for guidance on how to fill out the application form The fund will remain open for applications for a four-week period. Applications and supporting documentation must be submitted online. More details on how to apply are available on the application site.

Visit the application page for more information and to apply:

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