Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton Constituency, has consistently demanded additional resources for the hospitality and tourism sector as well as for support for small businesses in her constituency. This includes hotels, restaurants, pubs and supply chain businesses that have been closed down as a result of the coronavirus restrictions. The Scottish Government has this week announced that it will act on those demands.
Kate Forbes, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, has announced a package of £185 million in additional targeted support that will be made available to businesses in January.
Jackie Baillie has said that this announcement is welcome but that this money does nothing to help the local business owners who are in desperate need of immediate support. She also argued that many businesses have found themselves unable to access financial support due to the eligibility criteria being too tight.
Jackie Baillie MSP said:
“I am glad that the Scottish Government has finally listened to the calls that I, and the business community, have been making about the desperate need for more financial support.
“However, the Scottish Government is failing to show any sense of urgency in actually getting these funds into the pockets of businesses hardest hit by COVID-19.
“I know that many local businesses have received no help from the Coronavirus Restriction Fund or the Hardship Fund, and no support from the Strategic Framework Business Fund because the criteria are simply too tight.
“There are many local businesses, especially those in the hospitality and tourism sector, for whom waiting until January to receive support is simply not good enough. These businesses are being forced to make very difficult decisions about their future and the additional funding may be too late.
“Saving businesses and protecting the livelihoods of workers, especially with Christmas fast approaching, should a top priority for the Scottish Government and I will continue to fight for greater support for local businesses in need.”