Hyslop extends funds
More small businesses offered Covid-19 support
Andrew McRae: government deserves credit
More businesses have been offered help through the extension of support from the Scottish government.
Businesses which occupy shared premises, such as start-up hubs and indoor markets are now eligible for grants.
Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop has also expanded the £185m Business Support Fund to help small B&Bs, who were ineligible for other support due to not having a business bank account.
They will be eligible for a share of £3 million which has been re-purposed from the Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund.
This funding for small B&Bs will be administered by local authorities and applications are expected to open on 15 June.
Ms Hyslop said: “These businesses are an important part of Scotland’s tourism sector, particularly in rural areas, yet were not eligible for support from the hardship fund. I hope this change will help ensure they are ready to welcome visitors once again as soon as circumstances allow.
“This support is not available to equivalent businesses in the rest of the UK and is another example of how the Scottish Government is reacting to meet the needs of businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.”
Andrew McRae, Scotland policy chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “Today’s changes should see another important group of Scottish businesses left out in the cold brought back into the fold.
“While this shouldn’t be the end of the story, and Ministers should keep the help on offer under constant review, the Scottish Government should be given credit for these inclusive changes.
“We’re now making the case for Ministers to investigate how to ensure that businesses that survived the lockdown, don’t get closed down during the recovery.
“Specifically we want to see targeted financial support for businesses that have to pull down the shutters again because of virus fears, and for firms that have to make substantial changes to their premises and processes.”