Flexible support

£80m handed to local councils to help small firms

Andrew McRae
Andrew McRae: no overnight fix

Local councils in Scotland have been allocated £80 million from the funding package received from the UK government to help small businesses tackle Covid and cost pressures.

Councils will have the flexibility to use the Covid Economic Recovery Fund to target existing business schemes and to support low income households.

In addition, a further £3 million has been allocated to the City Centre Recovery Fund, which helps drive footfall to businesses hit hard by the pandemic.

The Scottish Government will tomorrow publish a revised Strategic Framework which will set out an updated approach to managing and recovering from COVID-19.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon met business owners in Edinburgh to discuss how support provided to date had helped them and how this latest funding could support the recovery.

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The First Minister said: “It is our aim to get back to normality as quickly as possible. Our updated Strategic Framework, which I will set out to Parliament tomorrow, will support resilience in communities across Scotland by outlining robust plans to prepare for possible new variants or other future emergencies, should we need to act to protect public health.”

Andrew McRae, Scotland policy chairman at the Federation of Small Businesses , said: “Independent businesses across Scotland will take heart when they learn that cash has been allocated to accelerate local recovery.

“This funding can’t linger in council bank accounts and must be spent on projects which really benefit the smaller businesses on our doorsteps.

“Just because restrictions are being lifted, that doesn’t mean that recovery is assured. governments in Edinburgh and London must look at ways to relieve the immense pressure that rising overheads are putting on firms, and at the very least avoid making matters worse.

“The damage done to local economies over the last two years won’t be fixed overnight. Ahead of this year’s council elections, we must see candidates and parties pledge to put smaller firms at the heart of their plans for driving success in their local communities.”

Alison Evison, president of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), said: “This additional funding will enable councils to play an even greater role in supporting economic and social recovery in their areas, as we move out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The flexibility offered by this funding will enable Councils to provide local support where they know the need is greatest.”

One Comment to £80m handed to local councils to help small firms

  1. Please could you inform me if part of this recovery fund applies to me, a self employed Carpenter/Joiner; because my trade has been decimated over these past two years?

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