Aberdeen Longer Lockdown: Financial package will cushion blow

Today the First Minister today confirmed that a local lockdown will continue in Aberdeen for another seven days. She also announced, in response to calls from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), a £1m package of support for businesses hit by the lockdown.

David Groundwater, FSB’s development manager for north east Scotland, said: “While many local businesses were assuming that the lockdown would continue for another week, today’s news will nonetheless be a bitter blow to cafes, restaurants and pubs across the city – as well as businesses in the wider economy.

“The resilience and determination of the Aberdeen hospitality sector is being tested to the limit, with weeks of no customers, no sales and no profits. Indicative re-opening dates, at least for part of the hospitality sector, are helpful in letting businesses plan, but getting back to business can’t come quickly enough for Aberdeen’s ailing economy.

“It’s a relief that First Minister has listened to our calls for financial support for businesses hit by the restrictions. It’s also welcome that some of this support will go to those who are still open, but whose income has been decimated by the lockdown – such as those in the hospitality supply chain. We need to get them all to the other side.

“FSB looks forward to working with Aberdeen City Council and the Scottish Government to ensure that businesses can access this support as quickly and easily as possible.”