More than £100m awarded via Scottish Business Support Fund

Fiona Hyslop

Businesses across the country have now been awarded more than £100 million through the Scottish Government Business Support Fund.

The scheme, announced by cabinet secretary Fiona Hyslop at the end of April, has to date helped more than 2,500 businesses and 4,160 self-employed people.

Now the fund, which started with £100m of grant support for individuals and companies affected by COVID-19 and has since been topped up to £185m, is being expanded.

Small B&Bs, who were ineligible for other support due to not having a business bank account, will be able to apply for a share of £3m of funding which has been re-purposed from the Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund.

This funding for small B&Bs will be administered by local authorities and applications are expected to open on June 15.

Fiona Hyslop said: “On April 30, we launched a £100m package across three business support funds offering targeted support to the creative, tourism and hospitality sector, SMEs which are vital to their local economies, and the newly self-employed.

“One month on and we have awarded more than £104m of grants supporting over 2,500 businesses and 4,160 self-employed people.

“We have topped up these funding streams by a further £85m given the volume of applications received, and these additional funds will enable us to reach more businesses in need.

“Today I announced that £3m of the Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund allocation will be re-purposed to support B&Bs who were ineligible for other support due to not having a business bank account. These businesses are an important part of Scotland’s tourism sector, particularly in rural areas, yet were not eligible for support from the hardship fund. I hope this change will help ensure they are ready to welcome visitors once again as soon as circumstances allow.

“This support is not available to equivalent businesses in the rest of the UK and is another example of how the Scottish Government is reacting to meet the needs of businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.”

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