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New support proposals

Involve business more in Covid response, says Ross

Douglas Ross at Norbord

Douglas Ross: ‘Businesses deserve better support’

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross wants businesses to have greater involvement in decisions made by the government to combat the impact of the Covid-19 crisis.

He wants government to give businesses a week’s ‘adaptation’ notice between the announcement and implementation of any restrictions.

He also wants to see ‘instant’ grants paid out so that no business is left waiting for changes to kick in.

Mr Ross has proposed the measures following a virtual speech this morning to dozens of business groups and companies in which he called again for an urgent Scottish Winter Economy Plan from the SNP Government.

His proposals include

– A new Coronavirus Business Restrictions Advisory Council to inform decisions on easing and introducing restrictions.

– A one week minimum ‘adaptation period’ between the announcement and the introduction of measures.

– An automatic, standard Scottish Business Restrictions Grant, so no businesses are left waiting for support once restrictions are announced.

– Urgent action to bring in Scottish Conservative proposals such as a Hardship Fund for businesses in local lockdowns and Job Security Councils for workers who lose their jobs.

Mr Ross said: “Businesses deserve better support from the SNP Government. We don’t have to choose between backing business and protecting public health. We need to do both.

“Decisions should involve business, not be imposed on them from a distance. Our plan for a new advisory council would give businesses real input on the writing of guidance and help inform decisions on easing and introducing restrictions.

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“It’s unfair to force businesses to shut on a few days’ notice. So, to give businesses time to prepare and understand the SNP’s often confusing guidance, we are also proposing a one week minimum ‘adaptation period’ between the announcement and introduction of measures.

“We are proposing a standard Scottish Business Restrictions Grant so that nobody ends up waiting, as they are right now, for financial support once restrictions are in place.

“Under the SNP, business has been sidelined. Too often, they treat business as a burden, as an afterthought. That must change.

“I pressed the case for more business support to Rishi Sunak and he has delivered a Winter Economy Plan and £700 million extra for Scotland.

“So now, I say this directly to the SNP Government – our businesses need support, you have the money. What are you waiting for?”

Those involved this morning include the hospitality, tourism, transport, energy and engineering sectors. Business groups represented included the Scottish and Aberdeen Chambers of Commerce, Scottish Whisky Association, Scottish Retail Consortium, Association of Scotland’s Self Caterers, Agricultural Industries Confederation Scotland and Peterhead Port Authority.



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