The First Minister has today announced a significant shutdown of Scotland’s hospitality industry, as part of the latest range of measures designed to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Scotland expressed their disappointment at the moves.

Andrew McRae, FSB’s Scotland policy chair, said: “Without sufficient support from government, today’s moves could mean last orders for many independent pubs and restaurants. They’ll also cause a significant knock-on impact on our tourism sector, on our hospitality supply chain, and on those that operate in our night-time economy like taxi drivers and takeaways.

“While we welcome the announcement of a £40m package of support funding, speed is now of the essence. That’s why we will work with government to ensure that this cash reaches those businesses in the greatest need as quickly as possible, including those indirectly impacted by the changes.

“During this crisis, many responsible business-owners feel like they’ve risen to every challenge the government has set. So it is frustrating that policymakers are focussing on further restricting business activities when they have failed to persuade a share of the general public to follow the rules.”

FSB is warning that the mental health of small business owners and the self-employed has suffered during this pandemic.

Andrew McRae said: “The vast majority of those in business want to be – and are – playing their part in tackling the crisis. But this year has taken its toll on the mental health of those that work for themselves, especially those that operate in certain sectors.

“Governments north and south of the border need to ensure there’s enough help on offer to see smaller firms through a crisis that’s not of their making. These local firms aren’t expendable, and care needs to be taken not to treat them as such.”

FSB offers a range of mental health support advice for members and the wider small business community.

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