Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser has raised the concerns of self-catering businesses over financial help during the pandemic, with one funding package working out at providing an average of only £400 to each business.
The politician questioned Kate Forbes MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, through a virtual meeting of Portfolio Questions and said he feels it is “about time” the SNP Government gave “more thought” to the self-catering sector.
Commenting, Mr Fraser, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, and is also the Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance, said: “I believe that the funding being allocated to Scotland’s self-catering businesses is inadequate and that is why I raised this matter with the Cabinet Secretary for Finance. I asked her when the £7 million support package for self-catering businesses would be allocated.
“Given that there are more than 16,000 self-catering businesses in Scotland, £7 million averages around £400 per business, so I also asked the Cabinet Secretary if she felt this was sufficient to compensate a sector that has suffered very badly during the pandemic.”
Mr Fraser continued: “The Cabinet Secretary promised that it was the ‘intention’ of the SNP Government to roll-out the £7 million funding package, which was announced in November, sometime this month. She also stated that some self-catering businesses may qualify to get funding of up to £3,000 from the Strategic Framework Business Fund this month.
“However, we keep hearing about all these SNP Government funding packages, but the reality is that many of them are not paid out in time, leaving struggling self-catering businesses, which play such a major role in the country’s economy, in a financially perilous situation and it is really not good enough.
“It’s all very well saying and promising that these Covid funding packages will be launched, but it’s an entirely different thing actually putting this into practice. It is about time the SNP Government gave more thought to the self-catering sector in Scotland.”