South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has reminded local businesses they have until 5 pm on Friday (July 10) to submit applications for the Scottish Government’s coronavirus business funds.
The schemes are being closed by the Scottish Government and any applications received after the closing date will not be processed.
The eligibility criteria for the Business Support Fund has been extended and amended since initially being launched, with tenants and occupiers of shared spaces able to apply, as well as companies with multiple premises.
It will close to new applications on Friday, as will the Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund and the B&B Hardship Fund.
Colin Smyth said: “As the deadline approaches for businesses to apply for these schemes, I would urge anyone considering applying to do so as quickly as possible, so they don’t lose out.
“The Covid-19 pandemic is first and foremost a health crisis, but as I have said from the start, it is also a serious economic crisis too.
“Unfortunately, it’s clear that the level of funding which has been made available won’t even scratch the surface of the economic losses businesses locally are suffering and I am continuing to receive dozens of e-mails and calls from concerned local businesses.
“Also, tens of thousands of people in our region are currently reliant on the furlough scheme and when it comes to a close at the end of October, we will see huge job losses.
“Once this support is withdrawn, while some people will be able to go back to work, many employers are going to seriously struggle and will have little option other than to lay people off unless we see more Government support.
“I will continue to keep the pressure on both the UK and Scottish Governments to bring forward more support to minimise the devastating impact this pandemic is having on the local economy.”