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£5.6m of support for Orkney businesses

Over 500 businesses in Orkney have been supported by Scottish Government grants.

Orkney businesses have received around £5.6 million in support from the Scottish Government.

Up to May 26, 508 businesses have been successful in receiving financial assistance from the COVID Business Support Fund Grant Scheme.

A total of 684 applications have been received from Orkney businesses.

The figures reveal that over £790 million have been handed out to 69,508 businesses throughout Scotland.

The grant scheme is worth over £1 billion, and is part of the wider business support package worth £2.3 billion.

A £10,000 grant is available to non-domestic ratepayers with properties in receipt of:

  • Small Business Bonus Scheme relief (SBBS) or Rural Relief
  • Nursery Relief, Disabled Relief, Business Growth Accelerator, Sports Relief, Enterprise Areas Relief, Fresh Start Relief or Charitable Rate Relief but eligible for SBBS

A £25,000 grant is available to the ratepayers of properties in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with property with a rateable value between £18,001-£51,000.

This grant is targeted at supporting small businesses, and those medium sized businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector, who are liable for non-domestic rates in order to maximise the number of businesses we can support.

Orkney’s MSP Liam McArthur this week called for the government to widen business support.

Many small tourism businesses, such as B&B owners, have been unable to apply to the Creative, Tourism and Hospitality Fund because they do not have a business bank account, even though many had been advised by their banks to operate through a specific personal account.

Mr McArthur said: “I have been raising this issue with the Finance Secretary for a number of weeks now and was encouraged by Kate Forbes’ recognition of the problem and her willingness to keep looking at how this gap in support might be closed.

“So far, Ministers have been willing to widen criteria and make improvements to funds where needed.

“I hope the same can happen in this instance so that the hardship fund can continue to target support at those businesses that it was designed to help.”

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