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  • Writer's pictureIain

2,000 Borders businesses get more than £22m in lockdown cash support

Updated: Jun 3, 2020

As we enter week eight of lockdown, SNP South Scotland MSP Paul Wheelhouse has welcomed the new figures showing that, as at 12th May, 2,026 local businesses have received £22.17m cash from Scottish Government grants.

The increase in the grants drawn down demonstrates the continued use of Scottish Government’s business grants, administered through Scottish Borders Council, to carry Scottish Borders businesses through the economic effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. Impacts are known to be particularly severe for many in the tourism and leisure sector that have missed out on what would normally be a peak in business activity over the Spring season, but the effects are being felt across the economy.

The overall grant support that is available is worth over £1 billion to businesses and this is part of the wider Scottish Government business support package valued at £2.3 billion.

Commenting on the news, Mr Wheelhouse said:

“It is a difficult time for many of our much-loved local businesses to cope with the changed circumstances and financial uncertainty of the COVID-19 crisis. Many of the businesses in the Scottish Borders are currently missing out on peak season turnover and profits from the expected surge in tourism that would typically be seen at this time of year. The financial support distributed by the Scottish Government, complementing measures taken by the UK Government, is vital to protecting businesses through this period. However, crucially, the support aims to ensure that, when we’re through this, these businesses are still in a position to be profitable and viable and to provide much value employment.

“The aim of this funding is to carry these businesses through the crisis and leave them on best possible footing for Scotland’s economic future. Preserving the excellent businesses that exist in our area is vital and tied into the Scottish Government’s goal of building a greener, fairer Scotland with an economy that works for all.

“I want to commend all local businesses for their tenacity during this pandemic, with many innovating and finding new ways to continue trading with some clever adjustments. I urge all business owners who are concerned about finances to access the support they are entitled to and obviously if I or my team can help in way, shape or form, then we will keen to do our utmost to provide them with support.“


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