Support provided to Scottish SMES doubles to reach £90m
A fund launched last week by the Scottish Government to provide grants for small and medium-sized businesses affected by coronavirus is to be doubled from £45 million to £90m.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the increase in the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund to help meet existing demand.
The aim of the fund, which is managed by Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and South of Scotland Enterprise, is to provide grants to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which are vital to Scotland’s local or national economy but have been made vulnerable by this crisis.
While the large volume of received applications are being evaluated, the application process is currently being paused. Payments will still be made to businesses within 10 working days of receiving completed applications and the two hardship funds for the newly self-employed and the creative, tourism and hospitality sectors remain open for applications.
The Scottish Government has also announced that housebuilders will be able to apply for short-term loans of up to £1m from the Scottish Government to support them through the COVID-19 outbreak.
SMEs with liquidity issues due to the temporary closure of the housebuilding sector will be able to apply to a £100m Scottish Government emergency loan fund which aims to:
- Safeguard jobs and protect suppliers
- Support post-COVID-19 economic recovery and the continued supply of homes
- Retain diversity of the housebuilding sector
Fiona Hyslop, cabinet secretary for economy, said: “This extra £45m is a direct response to feedback from businesses. It demonstrates our determination to support pivotal businesses which are suffering, through no fault of their own.
“This package of funding will reach businesses in need - at pace - and continues our commitment to ensure every penny of the additional business money that has come to Scotland is passed on to support our economy.”
Dr Liz Cameron OBE, chief executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, added: “This is a good announcement today by the First Minister to double the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund from £45m to £90m.
“The volume of applications to this fund was high, demonstrating that for many SME’s, working capital and cash in the bank could be the difference from surviving to going under.
“As ever, the speed of decision making and getting the money into our bank accounts is critical.’’
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