Help for Scottish business can no longer be a dollar short and a day late

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced a strict new lockdown for the Scottish mainland. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) urged Ministers to provide more help, more quickly to Scotland’s smaller firms to see them through this stage of the crisis.

Andrew McRae, the FSB’s Scotland policy chair said: “This hard lockdown will cause more heartbreak for Scotland’s smaller businesses. To stop deep disappointment turning into despondency, Ministers need to mitigate the impact on independent and local businesses with easier-to-access financial help and crystal-clear advice.

“We need to see support for the economy match the scale and pace of these restrictions. Help for Scottish business can no longer be a dollar short and a day late. For a start, the glut of new support schemes announced at the end of last year need to start delivering cash to firms. So far, few of these initiatives have paid out a penny. Then Ministers need to urgently look at new ways to get money to the local firms who’ve borne the business brunt of this crisis.”

On school and nursery closures, Andrew McRae said: “The Scottish Government knows that closing schools and nurseries undermines the foundations of local economies.

“Working parents across Scotland now face the stress of juggling childcare with their professional responsibilities. While we know that small employers will be as flexible as possible, this change heaps pressures on workers and firms alike. Ministers must look at their options at the earliest opportunity.”