£244 million paid to Scottish businesses through January

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LOCAL councils funding doubled during extended lockdown among other financial help.

Payments to support businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic increased following the tightening of essential public health measures at Christmas.

New statistics show businesses have received a total of £276 million through a variety of schemes to help businesses. 

Including: the Strategic Framework Business Fund (SFBF), the hospitality, leisure and retail top up payments and the Taxi and Private Hire Driver Support Fund since November last year.

A total of £244 million was paid by these three funds in January alone, including £4.7 million paid to taxi and private hire drivers in the first 10 days of claims. 

Welcoming the figures, Finance Secretary Kate Forbes also confirmed that the Local Authority Discretionary Fund will be doubled to £120 million to allow councils to respond further to local economic pressures.

Ms Forbes said:

“Since the start of the pandemic we’ve done everything in our power to protect people’s livelihoods with business support accounting for over a third of total COVID-19 spend. 

“Today’s figures demonstrate how closely we are working with colleagues in local government to ensure businesses in Scotland get the help they need.

“We understand the concerns of businesses unable to access the Strategic Framework Business Fund.” 

“That is why we are doubling the Local Authority Discretionary Fund to £120 million. This will further enable councils to respond to local economic needs and support businesses in their area.”

Throughout the pandemic local authorities had paid a total of £166,923,050 in hospitality, retail and leisure top ups as of January 29 2021. 

Statistics relating to other live funds will be published in due course.