Argyll and Bute Council has given out £17.4 million already in business grants, and is reminding businesses affected by COVID-19 that they can apply for funding support until 31 March2021.
The main area of activity involves the administration of Scottish Government business support schemes, which include rate reliefs and specific grants for small and medium sized businesses.
Staff from a range of council services have either refocused their work, or left their usual roles temporarily, to help deliver support to local businesses at this hugely difficult time.
As of close of play on 26 April, the council has approved 1,405 applications for the £10k grants and 134 applications for the £25k grant.
Full details on support for businesses is available on the council website.
In addition the council’s Business Gateway and Economic Growth teams have assisted with over 200 Coronavirus-related business enquiries to help local businesses deal with the impact of COVID-19.
The support provided has ranged from helping businesses identify which funding they could apply for, to sharing guidance on social distancing for business, to managing cashflow and exploring new opportunities to market and sell their products to the public safely.
Like many people, Business Gateway Advisers have adapted how they work so that they can continue to support local businesses: all the advisers are working from home and are available by phone or email to provide free, confidential advice and support; in addition the free webinars they offer throughout the year are now available as on-line webinars.
These webinars cover everything from Managing your business remotely to switching to trading online. You can find out more at Business Gateway's website.
Leader of the council, Councillor Aileen said:
“Getting as much support to as many local businesses as possible has been one of our key priorities over the past few weeks. Credit due to all of the staff who have been working incredibly hard on this, including those who transferred over from their normal work to help process grant applications.
“In addition, we raised early on concerns about the businesses who were missing out on support through the original government announcements and it’s great to see that further assistance for newly self-employed people is about to become available.
“And alongside all of this, we’re planning for the future. We are already working on recovery plans so that we are ready, as soon as restrictions lessen, to take action to help businesses and communities move on and rebuild”.
Key information for businesses can be found here: