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Support schemes ‘will help firms survive’ – survey

Graeme Roy

Graeme Roy: ‘businesses are supportive’ (pic: Terry Murden)

Scottish companies believe the various government support schemes on offer will be crucial in the survival of their business.

Most have applied for or intend to apply for at least one of the UK Government’s five key support schemes, according to a survey.

The most popular mechanism is the Job retention Scheme while the £25,000 grants available for hospitality, leisure or retail properties is also in demand.

Of those firms planning to use the various government support schemes, 90% expected them to be either “very effective” or “effective” to the survival of their business.

For those which intended to use the JRS, the vast majority planned to furlough more than half of their staff. More than three-quarters intended to furlough nearly 60% of their employees.

The data emerged in the latest Scottish Business Monitor, produced by Strathclyde University’s Fraser of Allander Institute (FAI) and law firm Addleshaw Goddard.

The Job Retention Scheme was perceived to be the most effective scheme to aid a business’s survival, with 95% of respondents saying it would be “effective” or “very effective”.

Our survey finds that businesses are supportive – in principle – of many of the measures announced

– Grame Roy, Fraser of Allander Institute

When asked how easy it had been to obtain government support, most respondents deemed the schemes difficult to access (nearly 60% for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and more than 40% for the JRS).

Pick-up is expected to increase over the coming weeks and months as the various schemes and their access arrangements become more refined.

FAI director Graeme Roy said: “Our survey finds that businesses are supportive – in principle – of many of the measures announced.

“In particular, accommodation and food services and the construction industry have indicated that the Job Retention Scheme will be key to them surviving to the other side of this crisis.”

David Hughes, a partner in Addleshaw Goddard’s Scottish employment team, said: “The government’s Job Retention Scheme was an important and swift step to avert the potential for mass redundancies.”

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