Finance Secretary doubles funding for councils to respond to local needs.
Payments to support businesses affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic increased following the tightening of essential public health measures at Christmas.
New statistics show businesses have received £276 million through the Strategic Framework Business Fund (SFBF), the hospitality, leisure and retail top up payments and the Taxi and Private Hire Driver Support Fund since November 2020.
A total of £244 million was paid by these three funds in January alone, including £4.7 million paid to taxi and private hire drivers in the first 10 days of claims. Statistics relating to other live funds will be published in due course.
Welcoming the figures, Finance Secretary Kate Forbes also confirmed that the Local Authority Discretionary Fund will be doubled to £120 million to allow councils to respond further to local economic pressures.
Ms Forbes said:
“Since the start of the pandemic we’ve done everything in our power to protect people’s livelihoods with business support accounting for over a third of total COVID-19 spend. Today’s figures demonstrate how closely we are working with colleagues in local government to ensure businesses in Scotland get the help they need.
“We understand the concerns of businesses unable to access the Strategic Framework Business Fund and that is why we are doubling the Local Authority Discretionary Fund to £120 million. This will further enable councils to respond to local economic needs and support businesses in their area.”
As of 25 January 2021 a total of £104,125,362 has been paid out by local authorities under the SFBF business restrictions and temporary closure funds, with £72,721,661 paid in January. Grants have been paid to 32,450 premises across Scotland.
Local authorities had paid a total of £166,923,050 in hospitality, retail and leisure top ups as of 29 January 2021.
Under the taxi and private hire driver support fund, local authorities paid £4,656,000 to 3,108 drivers by 29 January 2021.
Business support management information figures show that the Scottish Government allocated 383,000 business support awards totalling £2.3 billion between March and the beginning of October 2020.
More information on the Local Authority Discretionary Fund
Visit Find Business Support for full details of COVID-19 business support including sectoral funds