New financial support for businesses that missed out on coronavirus grants has been welcomed by a top Dundee business expert.
Businesses in Dundee who have otherwise been unable to get financial help during lockdown can now apply for a one-off grant of £2,000 after Dundee City Council’s policy and resources committee approved the new Covid-19 discretionary grant fund.
The Scottish Government has given the council £525,570 for this fund to give to businesses experiencing “significant financial challenges” who have received limited financial support since October 2020.
Those who have fallen through the cracks can finally get help, says chamber CEO
Alison Henderson, CEO of Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce, said: “It’s good to see these local discretionary funds coming out now – so many businesses have fallen through the cracks and simply haven’t had any financial support at all.
“I’d encourage everyone to look at this and get their application into the local council as soon as possible.
“One thing people should bear in mind is that if they have had any financial support, their application for this newest fund is very likely to be unsuccessful as it really needs to go to people who haven’t had anything.
“There are new sector based funds being released every week – this week we’ve seen the wedding sector, travel agents and brewers all becoming eligible for specific pots of support.
“And coming in February there will be funds for the hospitality and tourism sectors to watch out for.”
Who can apply for the new fund?
Small and micro businesses with less than 50 members of staff will be prioritised for the Covid-19 discretionary grant fund, as well as people with no business premises.
Businesses will have to show their income was at least 25% lower than the equivalent period in 2019 as a result of the coronavirus restrictions.
Businesses registered to a tax haven and those who have broken the coronavirus lockdown restrictions will not be able to take up this new grant.
New fund empowers the local authority to boost the local economy, says Dundee City Council
A Dundee City Council report said: “Unlike previous funds which have been targeted towards specific groups or sectors impacted by Covid-19, this fund seeks to empower local authorities to direct additional financial support to specific groups or sectors within the business community where they consider this to be necessary or justified based on the distinct characteristics of their local economies.”
The report also noted the Scottish Government is still developing plans for more grant schemes to be introduced in early 2021, and says a provisional list of 28 schemes has already been shared with Cosla (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities).