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Western Isles Council Business loan

Support provided by Western Isles Council (Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar) Business Gateway

What does this involve?

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar provides commercial finance to new and growing businesses in the Outer Hebrides. The purpose of the service is to ensure that good, commercially viable proposals do not fail due to a lack of access to finance.

Interest-bearing business loans of up to £50,000 are available to encourage businesses to start up, and also to enable business and community development in the Outer Hebrides.

The loans will help new and growing businesses and income-generating community enterprises to develop projects that will enhance their opportunities for long-term sustainability, as well as economic activity and employment.

The loans can be used for general start-up costs, new or used plants and equipment, working capital, marketing, e-commerce enablement and upgrading business facilities.

Applications will be assessed against key eligibility criteria. Your proposal must demonstrate that it will contribute to, and strengthen, the local economy in terms of jobs, growth and other benefits.

Am I eligible?

The business loan is potentially available to all businesses in the Outer Hebrides, if they can demonstrate that they:

  • are commercially viable
  • create jobs
  • generate additional demand for products and services

Priority will be given to applicants who are disadvantaged and unable to get funding elsewhere, and to projects that are expected to have the most impact in the local economy, including through job creation.

Loan funding is available only to applicants who are unable to raise the total capital required from other commercial, private or public-sector sources.

Applicants may be sole traders, partnerships, limited companies, co-operative groups, community enterprises or other legitimate trading entities.

Each application will be considered on its own merits. However, projects in areas which are adequately served by similar existing businesses are unlikely to meet the eligibility criteria.

The full list of conditions can be found on the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar website.

What does this cost?

There are no additional costs associated with this service, other than the loan repayments and interest charges.

Who is this for?

Businesses based in the Outer Hebrides.

How long does this take?

Each application will be dealt with on its own merits. Timescales will vary depending on your project's scale.  

Important information

New businesses must provide a business plan and 3-year financial projections. Existing businesses should provide a proposal overview and any other information considered necessary.

You can only apply for one Comhairle nan Eilean Siar loan at a time, and cannot have more than 2 Comhairle nan Eilean Siar loans at any one time. You cannot receive a second loan until 12 months after the first loan was provided and at least 20% of the first loan is repaid

Next steps

Visit the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar website for further information.

Support provided by Western Isles Council (Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar) Business Gateway