1 in 5 left out

Grants demand for suppliers and forgotten firms

Scotty Brand

Grants should be awarded to suppliers, says the FSB

Suppliers to the hospitality and retail trade hit by current restrictions should also qualify for coronavirus grants, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

In a letter to the Scottish Government and local authority leaders, FSB also urged Finance Secretary Kate Forbes to work with COSLA president Alison Evison to ensure support reaches thousands businesses and self-employed people that have had little or no help from government over the course of the 2020 crisis.

Andrew McRae, FSB’s Scotland policy chairman, said: “The impact of the current Scottish restrictions extends beyond the firms forced to close or reduce their hours by law.

“Thousands of businesses which supply our retail and hospitality sectors are facing similar levels of hardship as those that have been hit directly. But these firms are no more to blame for this crisis than anyone else, and should therefore get some grant help. 

“Ministers in Edinburgh need to treat this matter with the urgency it deserves before making further changes to the public health guidance.”

Andrew McRae

Andrew McRae: ‘glaring oversight’

FSB says one in five small business owners or self-employed individuals have had no support from either the Scottish Government or the UK Government. 

Mr McRae said: “The new £30 million scheme announced by the First Minister, and to be administered by councils, provides an opportunity to address this glaring oversight.”

Last week, the Fraser of Allander institute estimated that around £1 billion of Scottish Government funding for the 2020/21 financial year remains uncommitted.

The latest demands coincide with surveys showing an increase in confidence in a return to growth on the back of new vaccines.

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