The SNP Government has doubled its Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund, which provide grants for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) affected by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, from £45 million to £90 million.
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 made vulnerable by this crisis.
While the large volume of received applications are being evaluated, the application process is currently being paused. 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 MSP 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.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“Entrepreneurship should always be supported but sadly it does come with risks. A global pandemic such as we are living through right now is not something many young and small enterprises have built up enough resilience for and the SNP Government recognises the importance of lending a helping hand.
“The Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund has proven such a necessary grant scheme over the past week, that it makes sense to expend more resources on this particular fund.
“SMEs are the backbone of our economy and I continue to encourage North Ayrshire business owners to visit findbusinesssupport.gov.scot to find out what they can apply for – and do so as soon as they can.”
The funds which make up the £145 million support package are as follows:
£34 million Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund, managed by Local Authorities, allocated to the newly self-employed who are ineligible for UK support (as they became self-employed since April 2019) but are facing hardship.
£20 million Creative, Tourism & Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund, managed by the Enterprise Agencies with support from Creative Scotland and VisitScotland for small and micro creative, tourism and hospitality companies not in receipt of business rates relief with grants of up to £25,000.
The SNP Government is also providing £1 million to top up Creative Scotland’s Bridging Bursaries in the not-for-profit sector.