Maker Guides

A Maker's Guide to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Photography by Angelina Litvin on Unsplash

Photography by Angelina Litvin on Unsplash

​​​​​Originally published: Friday 13 March 2020 / Last updated Monday 1 June 2020

We currently find ourselves in an unprecedented situation with the World Health Organization declaring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to be a pandemic. 

Considering these global developments, we understand that this may be an increasingly uncertain time for you and your loved ones, and for your craft business. We have created this guide and list of resources to help prepare your craft business for the months ahead.   

Information around Coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing rapidly, it is important to stay up to date with the latest position. Additional information can be found on the World Health Organization website, the NHS website, and the NHS Scotland website.  

Please note that the information below is subject to change, visit the UK Government’s website to keep updated. Scottish Government information includes links to travel advice and regular updates on the number of cases.     

Craft Scotland will continue to monitor the situation and work closely with our partners to follow government advice. If there are any changes to our programme we will let you know through our website, newsletters and social media. Read our full message on Coronavirus (COVID-19).  




Further resources: 




Craft Scotland and Hollis Financial Toolkit:  

Craft Scotland have worked with Hollis Accounting Ltd. to create a comprehensive overview of the current financial support available to individuals and craft organisations during Coronavirus (COVID-19).  

There is a handy overview section that shows at a glance what support is potentially available to you. Plus, an extensive FAQ answering many of the queries we have received. 

Craft Scotland Guide to Zoom and Online Best Practice: 

We have compiled a Guide to Zoom & Best Practice for Online Spaces (opens PDF) to assist participants in preparation of and during our online events. This guide covers general queries on Zoom, how to join a meeting using Zoom, and guidelines on specific Craft Scotland online events.  

It is regularly updated, and we are in the process of adding guidance for Zoom's breakout rooms and screen sharing. 

Get in touch with us 

We understand that this is a very worrying time in terms of income, studio access and mental health. Please email Irene and the team if there are specific challenges you are facing or types of support that would help you during this time: hello@craftscotland.org.  

Your feedback will be helpful to inform our programme and to share with funders and partners. 

Cultural Community Update 


On 27 March 2020, Creative Scotland launched three funding programmes designed to provide further support to sustain the country’s creative community during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The Bridging Bursary Fund has now closed, but the Open Fund: Sustaining Creative Development is still opened.  

Creative Scotland has also compiled an A-Z of resources during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and they have updated their Creating Safety toolkit, created with Children Scotland, to add resources and guidance on working with children online.  

The Scottish Government have published guidance on their support for the Culture and Creative Sector during the pandemic.  

MAKE Manifesto have launched Supporting makers in response to the Covid-19 crisis, a programme of resources, advice sessions, commissions and micro-grants to support makers in Scotland, delivered in partnership with Applied Arts Scotland and in association with Craft Scotland 

Check our Maker Community’s Opportunities listing for up-to-date funds and opportunities for makers. 

Creative Edinburgh has created a funding database to search for support during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic: go to database

Business and Third Sector Support 



The UK Government has created a Coronavirus Business Support Finder to evaluate which support would be the most suited to your business. This includes loans, tax relief and cash grants, whether your business is open or closed. 

In late April, the UK Government also opened the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) to enable smaller businesses to access finance more quickly during the coronavirus outbreak.  

The scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover. The maximum loan available is £50,000. The government guarantees 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. After 12 months the interest rate will be 2.5% a year. 

On Thursday 30 April 2020, the Scottish Government announced three new funds, part of their latest £100 million package of additional grant support for Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and newly self-employed people.  

Two types of grant are now available to ratepayers: 

  • £10,000 grants for small businesses in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme or Rural Relief or businesses who qualify for Small Business Bonus Scheme but instead are in receipt of Nursery Relief, Disabled Relief, Business Growth Accelerator Relief, Fresh Start Relief, Discretionary Sports Relief, Enterprise Areas relief, or Charitable Rate Relief, or; 

  • £25,000 grants for hospitality, leisure and retail properties with a rateable value between £18,001 and £50,999. 

Apply via your local authority. Find more details on Business Gateway

Applications are open for the Third Sector Resilience Fund (TRSF). Part of a £350m support package by the Scottish Government for the sector in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the TRSF will support organisations who are at risk of closure due to a sharp decrease in income or that are unable to deliver their services directly as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. The TSRF is delivered by Firstport, Social Investment Scotland and Corra Foundation and it offers charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises grants of £5,000-£100,000. 

Salesforce is partnering with Enterprise Nation to offer eligible small businesses the opportunity to receive a £5,000 grant to help them through the COVID-19 outbreak. Businesses based in Scotland will be able to apply from 29 June to 5 July 2020.  


Guidelines on business support: 

Scottish Enterprise and Find Business Support have launched a new helpline for Scottish businesses seeking tailored advice on COVID-19. It will be open Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 5.30pm. Call handlers will answer questions from businesses related to COVID-19 as well as relaying the challenges faced by businesses to the Scottish government. The helpline number is 0300 303 0660. 

Find Business Support has also put together an information hub on business insurance and Coronavirus (COVID-19), including a Business Continuity Checklist to download.  

Business Gateway have compiled a guide to business support available for Scottish businesses (opens pdf). 

Federation of Small Businesses Coronavirus (COVID-19) hub includes an ongoing series of webinars covering legal and financial guidance for Small and Medium businesses.  

Anderson Strathern have published several guidelines for employers, including guidance on the Job Retention Scheme, and a general guidelines for employers.  

British Business Bank has collated a guide for businesses applying for the UK Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)


Further support:  

Self-Employed Support 



The UK Government announced a new scheme on Thursday 26 March 2020 that will allow self-employed people to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. HMRC will contact you if you are eligible for the scheme and invite you to apply online: full information.  

The Scottish Government announced on Thursday 30 April 2020 a scheme for the newly self-employed. This £34 million Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund will be allocated to the newly self-employed who became self-employed on or after April 2019, and who are ineligible for UK support but are facing hardship with £2,000 grants. Applications through local authority: full information.  

The Princes Trust has launched the Enterprise Relief Fund to offer grants for 18 to 30 years old across the UK who are self-employed and/or running their own business.



IPSE, the association of independent professionals and the self-employed, has collated a list of key measures announced in the recent UK Government budget to help freelancers during this time including relaxing some of the thresholds for accessing Universal Credit and tax allowances.  

Creative Edinburgh has created a Freelancers For Hire board: a platform for creative freelancers based in Edinburgh, and Scotland wide, who are available for work across disciplines, to showcase their services. 

Leapers have compiled a guide for the self-employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

Financial Difficulty 



If you are experiencing or think you might experience severe financial difficulties, you might want to know about the Scottish Welfare Fund, a crisis grant available through your local authority. Culture Counts noted on Thursday 2 April 2020, that the Scottish Government have allocated a further £45 million to this fund. 

Turn 2 Us provides advice and support including grants or funds for people suffering hardship, they also have a specific Edinburgh Trust. 

The Eaton Fund provides grants for women and artists in need of financial assistance.  

Smallwood Trust offers grants to support women on low income. 


Find more funding: 


More resources:  

The Money Advice Service has additional information about sick pay and benefits if you are employed and what you can claim if you are freelance/self-employed.  

The Money Saving Expert have published a guide on personal finance during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, including help with renting and mortgages, bills, broadband and other subscription services. 

Mental Health and Wellbeing Support 


Resources for the Cultural Community 


  • Edinburgh Napier University is offering a limited number of fully funded places with help from the Scottish Funding Council on their short courses on business and technology 

  • Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries where they operate 

  • Make Bank have created supply kit for students currently in self-isolation 


This article is for information purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional or legal advice. Always seek the advice of your local authority, trade union, the Scottish Government or the UK Government on matters relating to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

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