By Democrat reporter
Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton, Vale of Leven and Helensburgh, has raised concerns over new information which has highlighted flaws in the Scottish Government’s handling of business support grants.
New figures from the Scottish Government reveal that half a billion pounds of funding has not yet been awarded to struggling firms.
The figures also show that only £58m reached firms between May 5 and May 12, compared to £126m between April 6 and April 14, suggesting that the granting of funds is slowing down.
78,000 applications have been received for the Small Business Grant Scheme and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grant Scheme across Scotland. Of these applications, over 59,000 have been granted.
Jackie Baillie has continually called for the Scottish Government and local authorities to ensure a fast turnaround in getting funds to businesses, many of whom have found themselves at breaking point as a result of the current crisis.
Jackie Baillie said: “It is deeply concerning that there are tens of thousands of businesses across Scotland who have asked the Government for help yet have received nothing.
“Although the rate of processing grants in Argyll & Bute and West Dunbartonshire are better than average, there are areas of the country that have been slower to act.
“From speaking to business owners in Dumbarton, the Vale of Leven and Helensburgh, I know that these grants provide a life line for their companies and any delay in receiving funds puts their immediate survival in jeopardy.
“I urge the Scottish Government to ensure that businesses receive the help that they desperately need and are entitled to as quickly as possible.”