New restrictions underline need for swift support

The First Minister has this afternoon outlined further tightening of lockdown restrictions in Scotland – including preventing customers from going inside to collect takeaway food or coffee.

Andrew McRae, FSB’s Scotland policy chair, said: “Given the intense speculation ahead of this announcement, many local businesses in sectors like retail and hospitality had feared the worst. While there will be some relief that they can continue to operate, albeit in a very restricted way, the approach of trailing worst-case scenarios in the days before any announcement causes unnecessary anxiety for business owners and disrupts business planning.

“For those businesses that now do need to cease trading, their attention will quickly turn to where they can get financial help and support from government. In doing so, many will find that their business is ineligible or that a fund that could help them has yet to launch. We need all the stops pulled out to get more money out the door and into struggling firms, or run the risk of mass business closures.”