More than 79,000 businesses in Scotland have benefitted from over £2.9 billion of UK Government support to protect and support jobs across the country, the government has today announced (October 15).
The retail and construction sectors have benefitted most from the support, which was created to keep people in work and help businesses that were impacted hardest by the coronavirus pandemic.
More than 76,000 loans worth more than £2.1 billion have been offered under the Bounce Bank Loans Scheme, over 3,300 loans worth £758 million have been offered under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and 126,000 people in Scotland have benefitted from the self-employed income support scheme.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said: “Our support for businesses and workers has provided a lifeline to employers up and down the country, supporting people to stay in jobs and protecting livelihoods.
“We will build on this as we move to the next stage of our recovery through the Winter Economy Plan, which will continue to protect jobs and help businesses through the months ahead.”
The Chancellor also announced that the government’s Job Support Scheme will be expanded to protect jobs and support businesses required to close their doors as a result of coronavirus restrictions.
Scottish Secretary Alistair Jack said: “The UK Government is doing all it can to stop the spread of coronavirus and to help Scotland’s economy through these turbulent times. Providing more than £2.9 billion in loans to 79,000 Scottish businesses is a key part of this.
“We are also supporting nearly half a million people in Scotland through our job schemes and have committed a further £9 billion to help employers keep workers on.
“The unprecedented package of measures we have put in place to support all parts of the country shows the clear benefits for Scotland being part of a strong United Kingdom.”
As part of the Winter Economy Plan, the Chancellor announced that more than a million businesses who took out a Bounce Back Loan will now receive further protection from the Covid-19 crisis through flexible repayments, under the new Pay as You Grow system, which gives businesses more time to repay.
The government also announced its Winter Economy Plan will continue to protect jobs and help businesses through the uncertain times ahead as it adopts a new response to the virus, including through extending the Self Employment Income Support Scheme and 15% VAT cut for the hospitality and tourism sectors.