LABOUR STATES: ‘SNP CATASTROPHICALLY FAILING TO SUPPORT BUSINESSES’

Mitchell Way in Alexandria, just one of the many places where local businesses are struggling. Top of page – High Street, Dumbarton.

By Paul Cassidy

Jackie Baillie MSP has accused the SNP of failing ‘catastrophically’ to support businesses as new statistics have revealed that the SNP has failed to properly fund businesses through the Coronavirus Restrictions support grants.

Statistics published last week have revealed that the SNP government handed over around 60 per cent of available business support funds between October and November 2020.

The statistics state that between October and November 2020:

  • The Government earmarked more than £47 million to support employees and business impacted by the Coronavirus restrictions, but they have spent only £27 million (57 per cent).
  • 4,077 business support applications were rejected by the Scottish Government.

With scores of businesses at risk of going to the wall and the proposed budget being too timid to kick start economic recovery, Scottish Labour has demanded action from the SNP to support business.

Jackie Baillie MSP for Dumbarton, Vale of Leven, Helensburgh and Lomond, pictured left,  said:  “The SNP has catastrophically failed to support businesses throughout this crisis and the timid support on offer in the budget will not touch the sides.

“It beggars belief that in this time of acute economic crisis, the SNP is happy to turn down thousands of applications for support and is sitting on top of £ millions of unspent business support money.

“Many local businesses in West Dunbartonshire and Argyll and Bute have been turned down for support from the Scottish Government. The Scottish Government should now be looking at ways of using the unspent business support money to give them the support they so badly need.

“Failure to support businesses now risks scarring our economy permanently.” 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – business support funding: statistics (circuit breaker) – 29 January 2021

Hardship Fund: 2,624 (42%)  rejected, referred or deferred

Closure Fund:1,183 (24%) application rejected, referred or deferred

Furlough Top-up Scheme:170 (7%) application rejected, referred or deferred

Contingency Fund: 100 rejected, referred or deferred

The total funding available across Scotland was £47 million

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