Clarity required on future support and restrictions, warns FSB

Businesses in Scotland impacted by the current block of coronavirus restrictions can apply for grants of between £1,000 and £3,000 from today.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Scotland wants hospitality firms and other operators eligible for help to apply quickly, as the scheme is only open until 3 November. Businesses should apply through their local authority.

FSB is also warning that clarity is required regarding whether restrictions on hospitality are going to be extended into next week.

Andrew McRae, FSB’s Scotland policy chair, said: “About halfway through the current round of restrictions, firms should now be able to apply for financial help to mitigate the impact. Eligible independent firms – like local pubs and restaurants – need to act now and ensure they apply for this support before the deadline. Councils must do everything possible to get this financial help to firms at the sharp end as quickly as possible.

“With the current round of hospitality restrictions due to expire at the end of this weekend, many businesses – as well as their suppliers and customers – want to know what trading conditions they’ll face from Monday. Firms are asking whether they should order stock or take bookings. Clarity on this point is required now.”

The small business campaign group is also urging the Scottish Government to outline how they intend to help firms hit by future rounds of restrictions when Ministers publish their strategic plan to tackle coronavirus later this week.

Andrew McRae said: “Help for business to survive this crisis can’t be an afterthought. That’s why when Ministers outline their strategic plan for tackling the virus later this week, it must include the details that are important for a business. That means specifics on the restrictions that firms should expect in particular circumstances, as well as any financial support to which they’d be entitled.”

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