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North businesses awarded £56m Covid-19 support


By Alan Hendry

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A total of £56,286,250 million has now been paid out to 5135 Highland businesses under the Covid-19 small business and self-catering grant scheme, set up to help companies survive during the coronavirus crisis.

Highland Council is making plans for coming out of lockdown.
Highland Council is making plans for coming out of lockdown.

However, there is concern that some businesses have not made an application even though they may be eligible for support.

Highland Council's head of development and regeneration, Allan Maguire, said: "We now are processing applications and approving payment within days of a business submitting a complete online application form and its accompanying evidence.

“We have around 100 businesses that have applied for grant but for whatever reason have been unable to attach the right evidence. We have asked them to promptly get the required information back to us, so we can complete the assessment of their application and get the grant paid to them.”

Based on estimates when the Scottish Government launched the scheme and asked the council to deliver it within the region, uptake of the grant has been lower than expected.

Councillor Trish Robertson, chairperson of Highland Council’s economy and infrastructure committee, said: “This is a very challenging time for businesses and we are concerned that there are some in Highland who may be eligible for the grant but who have not yet applied.

"We are keen to ensure that that as many Highland businesses as possible that qualify for the grant apply for and benefit from it. I therefore urge business owners to go to the council’s website and follow the links to the guidance and application form.”

The links are:

https://www.highland.gov.uk/coronavirus/businessgrant

https://www.highland.gov.uk/coronavirus/selfcateringbusinessgrant


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