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Mon June 01 2020

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Scotland set to pay grants to newly self-employed

23 Apr The Scottish government has confirmed that grant funding will be available in the coming days for newly self-employed people suffering hardship as well as SMEs in distress.

Economy secretary Fiona Hyslop said that the grant funding will be open for applications by the end of April and that recipients will receive funds in early May. The £34m Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund, which will be managed by local authorities, will be allocated as £2,000 grants to the newly self-employed facing hardship.

“This funding is intended to relieve the hardship of individuals and smaller firms that are ineligible for support from the UK Government or are not in receipt yet of the funds they need to survive,” she said.

The £100m to support the self-employed and SMEs also covers the £20m Creative, Tourism & Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund and the £45m Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund, which is for vulnerable small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are vital to the local or national economic foundations of Scotland. The Scottish government is also providing £1m to top up Creative Scotland’s Bridging Bursaries in the not-for-profit sector.

Hyslop said: “This funding is intended to relieve the hardship of individuals and smaller firms that are ineligible for support from the UK government or are not in receipt yet of the funds they need to survive.”

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“Our hospitality, tourism and creative sectors have been decimated by this crisis and previously profitable businesses have seen demand dry up overnight.

“However, because of the decisions the Scottish government has taken, thousands more self-employed people and small businesses will be able to benefit from support compared with elsewhere, and we have been able to help sectors of the economy that are not being supported in other parts of the UK. 

“As well as dealing with this immediate crisis, we must look to the future. We must ensure that those businesses with a part to play in strengthening resilience in Scotland’s economy survive this crisis and thrive in future, which is why £45 million is being allocated to those firms.

“We continue to engage with businesses on a regular basis to understand their needs and press the UK government to deliver for them.”

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