Scottish Government announced £1m funding for Aberdeen businesses affected by local lockdown
The Scottish Government has announced a £1 million support fund for local businesses in Aberdeen who have been affected by the local lockdown restrictions which have been imposed in Aberdeen.
The fund, which will be administered by Aberdeen City Council, will provide grants of £1,000 and £1,500 to those most affected and includes £100,000 of discretionary support for sectors not required to close by the regulations.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also confirmed that restrictions on some Aberdeen premises will begin to be lifted from next week if the number of infections continues to fall.
Responding to the announcement of the funding, David Groundwater, The Federation of Small Businesses’ development manager for north east Scotland, said: “While many local businesses were assuming that the lockdown would continue for another week, today’s news will nonetheless be a bitter blow to cafes, restaurants and pubs across the city – as well as businesses in the wider economy.
“The resilience and determination of the Aberdeen hospitality sector is being tested to the limit, with weeks of no customers, no sales and no profits. Indicative re-opening dates, at least for part of the hospitality sector, are helpful in letting businesses plan, but getting back to business can’t come quickly enough for Aberdeen’s ailing economy.
“It’s a relief that First Minister has listened to our calls for financial support for businesses hit by the restrictions. It’s also welcome that some of this support will go to those who are still open, but whose income has been decimated by the lockdown – such as those in the hospitality supply chain. We need to get them all to the other side.
“FSB looks forward to working with Aberdeen City Council and the Scottish Government to ensure that businesses can access this support as quickly and easily as possible.”
Dr Liz Cameron, chief executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, added: “The £1m emergency funding announced is a welcome first line of support and it must be deployed as quickly as possible when the fund opens next week. However, this will not in itself be enough to stave off the worst and more must be done to support these businesses.
“As well as managing the risk to health, we need to see greater collaboration and co-operation between businesses and government in order to limit further economic harm as much as is possible.”