2,746 Borders Businesses Get £30m Scottish Government Cash Support Through Crisis
New figures show that 2,746 businesses in the Borders have already received support from the Scottish Government to support them through the coronavirus crisis, as the Scottish Government announces a new funding package will open soon for high growth companies.
A total of £29.3million has been awarded to businesses in the Borders through a Scottish Government scheme designed to support small businesses and the retail, hospitality and leisure sector. Scotland’s Economy Secretary, Fiona Hyslop, has, today, also announced a new £38 million funding package for high growth companies to support the growth in early stage and start-up businesses as the Scottish Government seeks to stimulate enterprise and innovation as we move into a recovery phase of the economy.
Across Scotland, over 83,000 grants valuing £942 million have been awarded through the Small Business Grant Scheme and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grant Scheme.
Commenting, Borders-based SNP MSP for the South Scotland region and former professional economist, Paul Wheelhouse, said:
“This pandemic has put real pressure on businesses across the Scottish Borders and South Scotland region and it has also stifled new enterprises and opportunities to grow the local economy, too.
“While I am aware that many businesses continue to face difficulty, I am grateful that the Scottish Government has provided swift and substantial financial help to support so many firms and ensure that jobs and businesses across the economy are protected as best they can be and put on the best possible footing when we get through this unprecedented crisis. My office has already helped a number of local businesses through this process and I’d continue to encourage any eligible businesses facing economic instability to apply for the support offered by the Scottish Government.
"This package of support for businesses has indeed been welcome, and it will help alleviate the hardship some individuals and businesses in the Borders may be facing, but we all now have an eye on putting in place the necessary conditions for a sustained economic recovery.
“With this in mind, I am really delighted to see today’s announcement by the Economy Secretary, Fiona Hyslop, of £38 million of new funding, including grants and challenge funding for early stage and start-up companies to help power the growth of the economy. I am very keen that Borders businesses take advantage of this new funding, which is just available in Scotland.
“This new support is in the form of: £3 million of grants of up to £50,000 per applicant for new starts (pre-seed businesses) that are judged to have the greatest potential to grow and attract future investment; £25 million of the funding is being made available through a competitive, Early Stage Growth Challenge Fund to enable equity backed businesses to access amounts of up to £300k per company in grants and investment funding to help them to grow rapidly; and £10 million of Scottish Investment Bank co-investment funding to stimulate investment in growth businesses needing more significant levels of funding.
“Given that the £25 million Early Stage Growth Challenge Fund opens on 20th July and applications will close on 31st July, and will be allocated on a competitive basis, it is critical that as many relevant Borders businesses and entrepreneurs across our area are aware of the opportunity now, prepare compelling bids and take full advantage of the Fund when it opens.“