Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart has welcomed the announcement of approximately £3 million in additional support for hospitality, retail and leisure businesses in the islands. The move follows representations from Ms Wishart to the Scottish Government to help businesses affected by lockdown measures.
Ms Wishart and her colleague Orkney MSP Liam McArthur pushed for discussions between the Scottish Government and local government to secure funding to help island businesses affected by coronavirus restrictions but who were excluded from support available in Level 4 areas.
Commenting Ms Wishart said:
“This is welcome funding for Shetland businesses. I’m pleased the government has listened to our calls and the clear need put to them by Shetland Islands Council.
“While Shetland not may be under the same restrictions as the Mainland, the effects are still devastating on businesses who were trying to get back on their feet after last year’s turmoil. Measures to control the spread of the virus are, of course, necessary, and at this crucial time when vaccines are being rolled out, but that means government has to provide the support to businesses who are now struggling through no fault of their own.
“Shetland has many viable and innovative hospitality, retail and leisure businesses that support their communities and the local economy. We now need to see funding getting in to the hands of those businesses as soon as possible. Time will tell whether £3m spread across the island authorities will be enough to support business until they can begin to trade more normally.”