There is a wide range of options for securing support for starting or growing your business. For more information on these, see the links below, contact the local Business Gateway office or the relevant local authority inward investment team.

Business Gateway

Business Gateway is a publicly-funded service that provides access to free business support services. It gives assistance and impartial advice to people starting or growing their business by a combination of:

  • a comprehensive website with practical information and useful guides.
  • a programme of fully funded local workshops and events
  • adviceto suit specific business needs through a network of experienced business advisers.
  • a dedicated team providing information and support on all aspects of starting and growing a business.

There are local offices in Scottish Borders, Midlothian and Edinburgh.

Business Loans Scotland

Business Loans Scotland is a consortium of Scotland’s 32 local authorities. It offers gap funding up to a maximum of £100,000 to SMEs across Scotland where public sector funding (including Business Loans Scotland’s contribution) would not exceed 50% of the total funding package.

Businesses from a range of sectors (including manufacturing, construction, transport and distribution, tourism and tourism infrastructure and software), are eligible to apply for support. Loans may be used for working capital, purchase of plant and equipment, and for the purchase of business property.

It will be managed in the railway catchment by the respective local authorities’ economic development teams and delivered via Business Gateway. This will enable applicants to the fund to also benefit from the full range of additional business support services available, both prior to, and during and after, their loan application.

Other Loans and Grants

Scottish Borders, Midlothian and the City of Edinburgh councils offer various loan and grants to qualifying businesses.

Scottish Borders and Midlothian also offer loans to start-ups and new businesses.

In Edinburgh, research and development grants worth up to 35% of eligible costs for companies carrying out research into new commercially viable products, processes and services.

Training Grants

Up to 50% grant funding is available for training through ‘flexible training’ from Skills Development Scotland.

Regional Selective Assistance

Although Edinburgh is not an assisted area, businesses can still receive Regional Selective Assistance worth 10% for medium-sized firms and 20% for small firms.

For land in East Lothian, Midlothian, and the Scottish Borders, businesses may be eligible for Regional Selective Assistance, Scottish Enterprise’s main national scheme of financial assistance to industry involving discretionary grants to encourage investments and job creation in Assisted Areas.

Assisted Area status 2014-2020 means businesses in parts of the catchment area can access grants worth up to 10% of eligible costs (large), 20% (medium), and 30% (small). (See also this map of RSA areas).

Enterprise Areas

Edinburgh BioQuarter and Midlothian Biocampus are Enterprise Areas, offering investors and businesses a range of incentives, tailored to meet the individual characteristics of each site.