Liz Smith MSP has called on the Scottish Government to support self-catering businesses in her Mid Scotland and Fife constituency following the release of damning new figures which showed only 4% have had their request for financial aid granted during Covid-19.
The Scottish Conservative politician is asking the Scottish Government to address the issue urgently after reading the survey, conducted by the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers (ASSC), which found only 4% of self-caterers who applied for business support grants have had their request for help granted by their local authority.
Self-catering businesses have closed during Covid-19, with many reporting they have found the process of applying for vital aid cumbersome and bureaucratic, with the requested evidence of income being impossible to provide in many cases.
Commenting, Liz Smith, said: “The self-catering sector provides a vital role in the Scottish economy and it supports thousands of jobs and livelihoods across the country. It also generates hundreds of millions of pounds in tax each year.
“The Scottish Government needs to address the issue urgently to provide support to self-caterers as it looks like they are being forgotten when it comes to providing financial aid during this crisis.
“They need access to this support which was promised by the Scottish Government.”
She continued: “Self-catering businesses closed down quickly when the lockdown was announced – they now need support from the Scottish Government at this time.
“I acknowledge it is difficult to help everyone during this crisis but self-catering businesses are an important part of the Mid Scotland and Fife economy and the Scottish Government needs to issue correct guidance to local authorities to enable self-catering businesses to get the funds that they’re entitled to.”