Councils pay out over £600m in business bailout cash

David Lonsdale

Over 50,000 grants totalling over £600m have been paid out so far from two Scottish Government schemes set up to help businesses struggling because of the coronavirus outbreak.

As of 5 May, Local Authorities reported that over 71,000 applications have been received for the Small Business Grant Scheme and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grant Scheme across Scotland.

Of these applications, 53,765 grants valuing £621m have been awarded.

This implies that around 17,000 applications have either been rejected or are still being processed; figures for either were not published.

Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium David Lonsdale (pictured) said: “These grants provide urgently needed support for retailers operating smaller premises and who are trying to weather the current crisis, particularly those with shops currently in hibernation.”

The SRC had previously welcomed the extension to the Small Business Grant Scheme, which allows retailers with more than one store to apply for grant assistance.

However, Lonsdale is keen for Local Authorities to keep their eye on the ball: “If councils can process these grant applications swiftly it will not only allow retailers access to the cash they need to keep afloat, it will aid high streets across Scotland which have been left reeling by coronavirus.”