‘Scottish Government must set out second wave help package’

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Scotland has written to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urging the Scottish Government to outline the support it will provide to firms when new national or local coronavirus restrictions are announced.

Official figures show that one in twenty businesses in Scotland still remain shut in Scotland, and the FSB is warning that new restrictions – however temporary – could increase the number of permanent closures.

The UK Government detailed their standard grant package in the event of further lockdowns in early September.

Andrew McRae, the Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) Scotland policy chair, said: “Ministers need to understand that new coronavirus restrictions will take a huge toll on Scotland’s small business community. Many Scottish independent firms’ reserves and credit-lines are close to exhaustion.

“The bare minimum that those in business expect is for the Scottish Government to set out their new package of help at the same time as they detail any new restrictions.”

The FSB has urged the Scottish Government to rebuild trust with the business community to mitigate the impact of the crisis.

Andrew McRae said: “Up and down Scotland, many in business are incredibly stretched. Responsible local firms are knuckling down trying to balance the books while complying with the various coronavirus restrictions.

“However, days of unhelpful speculation regarding a new wholesale lockdown has harmed fragile business confidence and put new emotional strain on those that work for themselves. Ministers need the support of firms to tackle this crisis – action is required to rebuild trust between government and business.”