Overwhelmed small business fund doubled to £90m

The Scottish Government said on Friday a fund launched last week to provide grants for small and medium-sized businesses affected by the coronavirus crisis is to be doubled from £45 million to £90 million.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the increase in the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund to help meet existing demand.

The aim of the fund, which is managed by Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and South of Scotland Enterprise, is to provide grants to SMEs which are vital to Scotland’s local or national economy but have been made vulnerable by the crisis.

“While the large volume of received applications are being evaluated, the application process is currently being paused,” said the Scottish Government.

“Payments will still be made to businesses within 10 working days of receiving completed applications and the two hardship funds for the newly self-employed and the creative, tourism and hospitality sectors remain open for applications.”

Cabinet Secretary for Economy Fiona Hyslop said: “This extra £45m is a direct response to feedback from businesses.

“It demonstrates our determination to support pivotal businesses which are suffering, through no fault of their own.

“This package of funding will reach businesses in need — at pace — and continues our commitment to ensure every penny of the additional business money that has come to Scotland is passed on to support our economy.”