Business grant scheme now open for applications
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The Highland Council has today (Wednesday, February 10) launched its Discretionary Business Grant Scheme. A one off £2000 business grant is available for businesses that have been unable to secure alternative grant support and have seen a significant reduction in trade – be that goods or services.
Councillor Trish Robertson, chair of the council’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee said: “This grant scheme is to help those businesses who have, for whatever reason, fallen through the funding gaps left by the UK and Scottish Government grant schemes.
“We have deliberately adopted the £2,000 award and kept the grant scheme wide ranging and not sector specific, so that we can reach out to as many businesses as possible with the funds we have received from the Scottish Government."
Drew Hendry MP and Fergus Ewing MSP have welcomed the new scheme as part of ongoing efforts to provide support throughout the pandemic.
Mr Hendry said: "Times are extremely challenging just now, and people are struggling. This new fund will be a lifeline to so many businesses in my constituency, who have not benefited from previous grants.
“I would encourage any one who hasn’t yet received any support to have a look at this fund and to apply, as soon as it becomes available.
"It is inconceivable, that during this pandemic and with lockdown measures in place, the UK Government has repeatedly refused to support the three million people still excluded from any help. Families and businesses need more support, not less during this unprecedented emergency."
Fergus Ewing MSP, said: “These are tough times and in Scottish Government we have been working hard to try to help people who have 'fallen through the cracks' of financial schemes of support. So this discretionary scheme is to help to achieve that.
“I recognise the good work that people in the Highland Council are doing to help administer funding. I hope that it will provide the financial support to get us through this Covid crisis and the successful vaccination programme now means that there is hope of an end in sight.”
Over the coming weeks, the Scottish Government will be making available a range of other grants to businesses, including Newly Self Employed, Mobile Close Contact, Large Self-catering and B&B’s. As information becomes available from the Scottish Government, the council will provide guidance and detail on its website as to who is eligible and how to apply for grant.
Councillor Robertson added: “I urge all affected businesses to go to our website, take 15 minutes to read over the guidance, gather all the bank and business evidence required and to apply using our online form.”
For more information and to apply online please visit the council’s website – www.highland.gov.uk/info/20016/coronavirus/962/discretionary_grant_scheme