FSB: Figures show Scottish grant funding slowing

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Scotland has highlighted that figures released by the Scottish Government have revealed that the volume of cash reaching firms is slowing.

FSB: Figures show Scottish grant funding slowing

Andrew McRae, FSB Scotland policy chair

The Scottish Government figures indicate that £621 million of coronavirus grant funding has been released to 53,765 Scottish businesses. However, a total of £95m has been dispersed between 28 April and 4 May. By comparison, £139m of lifeline support was passed to businesses between 21 April and 27 April.

Official documents show the Scottish Government has earmarked £1.2 billion of budget for their grants schemes, which sees firms receive grants of £10,000 or £25,000 and additional grants for operators with multiple properties.    

The FSB in Scotland is urging Ministers to expand the grants scheme to cover indirect rate payers, such as firms that operate from shared offices or indoor markets. The Northern Ireland Executive and the UK Government recently tweaked their grants programmes to cover these types of operator.

Andrew McRae, FSB’s Scotland policy chair, said: “These figures show that an additional 8000 Scottish businesses are now in receipt of this lifeline grant funding, giving these firms important flexibility during this crisis.   

“But with around half of the money allocated to this grant programme unspent, now is the time to expand the scheme to cover the most obvious omissions. A good place to start would be those firms who don’t pay their rates bills directly or aren’t the listed ratepayer on government systems.”

The small business campaign group also wants to see government at all levels in Scotland to set a target date to clear the outstanding applications. Further, FSB has suggested a renewed push to ensure migrant entrepreneurs receive adequate help.

Mr McRae added: “We continue to get feedback from firms who’ve still not heard when their grant will be processed. Policymakers should set a target date to clear the remaining backlog.

“In addition, we do have concerns that some businesses may not be aware that they’re due support. New efforts should be made to reach out to migrant entrepreneurs in particular to ensure they’ve signed up for help.”

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