The Scottish Government must consider broadening the eligibility for the Small Business Grant Scheme and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grant Scheme to ensure businesses get the help they need, Scottish Labour said today.
Statistics published this morning have shown that, up to the 19th of May 2020, only around 65,000 of 81,000 applications for business support have been awarded. As such, around one application in every five is not awarded.
With over 16,000 applicants not receiving awards and a fall in the number grants being awarded there is serious cause for concern, and the prospect is raised of small businesses, already faced with the tremendous threat of Covid-19, losing out on much needed government support.
Commenting, Scottish Labour Deputy Leader and finance spokesperson, Jackie Baillie, said:
“Businesses are under unprecedented levels of financial pressure and it is the duty of the Scottish Government to do all within its power to support them through this crisis.
“Unfortunately, today’s statistics suggest that potentially thousands of businesses are missing out on the support they both need and deserve.
“The process of re-building our economy after the pandemic will be an arduous one, but what is clear is that small and medium-sized businesses will play a central role.
“It is time for the Scottish Government to consider broadening the eligibility criteria for support to ensure that every business that needs support, gets it.”