Funding available to help Scottish businesses through crisis

Self-employed people and small businesses will receive £100 million in grants to help them through the ongoing pandemic.

By Neil McGrory, Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 23rd April 2020, 12:15 pm
Funding to small and medium-size businesses payments will be made from early May

Economy secretary Fiona Hyslop confirmed grants will be made to support small enterprises.

The money has been put into three funds – councils will administer the £34m Newly Self-Employed Hardship fund, which will support individuals with £2,000 grants.

The £20m Creative, Tourism and Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund will be managed by enterprise agencies working with Creative Scotland and VisitScotland. This will support businesses not in receipt of business rates relief.

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The remaining £45m has been invested into the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund, which supports small and medium enterprises vital to local or national economies.

A further £1m is being used to top up the Creative Scotland Bridging Bursaries scheme, which supports non-profit organisations.

Applications will open by the end of April with payments being made from early May.

Ms Hyslop said: “This funding is intended to relieve the hardship of individuals and smaller firms that are ineligible for support from the UK Government or are not in receipt yet of the funds they need to survive.

“Our hospitality, tourism and creative sectors have been decimated by this crisis and previously profitable businesses have seen demand dry up overnight.

“However, because of the decisions the Scottish Government has taken, thousands more self-employed people and small businesses will be able to benefit from support compared with elsewhere, and we have been able to help sectors of the economy that are not being supported in other parts of the UK.

“As well as dealing with this immediate crisis, we must look to the future. We must ensure that those businesses with a part to play in strengthening resilience in Scotland’s economy survive this crisis and thrive in future, which is why £45 million is being allocated to those firms.

“We continue to engage with businesses on a regular basis to understand their needs and press the UK Government to deliver for them.”