Stuart McMillan MSP has welcomed the news that Inverclyde Council has paid out more than £6.7million in grants to local businesses.
A total of 600 businesses in the area have benefitted from support put in place by the Scottish Government to help businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Scottish Government has also announced extra support for charities.
The Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund, which paused for applications due to the large volume received in the first week, will reopen for applications from mid-morning Thursday 14 May.
Commenting, Stuart said:
“A large number of local businesses have contacted me over the past two months due to the effects that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on their business.
“To hear that 600 businesses have been able to benefit from the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) and that £6.7million in support has been provided is positive.
“However, I’m aware that gaps exist in the Scottish and UK government’s funding packages. I have been raising these issues with both governments to ensure as many businesses as possible are supported during this public health crisis.
“Saving lives and looking after people’s wellbeing is paramount, but part of that includes looking after local businesses and their workers. We need these businesses to be able to operate again when we transition out of lockdown, and I recognise that the worries felt by small business owners and their staff will be having an impact on their mental health.
“I understand that Inverclyde Council staff have been working hard to process business applications as quick as possible so they can release these funds. I want to thank them for doing this and for supporting businesses who may be struggling to complete these applications for whatever reason.
“It’s important that local businesses visit www.findbusinesssupport.gov.scot for the most up to date information about COVID-19 business support. If businesses are unsure of what fund they should apply for, or are having issues applying, please contact my office and we will try to assist you.
“The Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund reopens today, but is expected to close at 5pm on Monday 18 May due to the large volume of applications it anticipates receiving. I urge local businesses who think they are eligible to apply as soon as possible so they can benefit from this additional funding.
“I also welcome the extra support that the Scottish Government has announced for charities, as they can now apply for the £10,000 small business scheme to help with pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Charities that are eligible must submit their applications to Inverclyde Council. Please check the council’s website for more details.”