Shetland MSP, Beatrice Wishart, has today welcomed the introduction of an island equivalent payment that will allow eligible businesses in Shetland access to the same ongoing support as businesses elsewhere in Scotland.
The Scottish Government has now confirmed that funding will be available to island businesses on the same basis as offered through the Strategic Framework Business Fund to mainland businesses.
Ms Wishart has welcomed the announcement but added that the priority now must be to ensure that businesses receive the financial support before it’s too late.
Commenting on the announcement, Ms Wishart said:
“Confirmation that eligible businesses in level three areas can now apply for the top-up funding previously announced by the Finance Secretary will come as a relief to businesses in Shetland who have felt unsupported and confused.
“Many businesses in Shetland are merely treading water in the current environment. Level three restrictions have effectively posed the same significant challenges for businesses in Shetland as those in other parts of the country given that everyone is being encouraged to stay home at the moment. Some businesses have also voluntarily closed to help stop the spread of the virus.
“The Finance Secretary recognised this problem and agreed to work with local authorities to make available island equivalent grants. I’m glad that this has now been established, giving businesses in Shetland much-needed support.
“The priority now must be to make sure this vital funding gets out the door and into the coffers of businesses as quickly as possible. Some local businesses are in a very precarious position and can’t afford to wait any longer to get access to this essential funding.”