The SNP should introduce a 10-day business grant turnaround guarantee and match UK Government grants of up to £9,000, the Scottish Conservatives have demanded.
Leader Douglas Ross (pictured) has today set out proposals to restore confidence to businesses and fix the broken business grant system.
The Scottish Conservative plans include a range of measures to get funding out to businesses more quickly and a vast expansion of grants and relief, particularly for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses.
There are no signs that the SNP’s £185 million of business support announced a month ago has delivered any funding, and around £700 million from the UK Government has still not been allocated by the SNP.
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said:
“A huge range of businesses – from taxi drivers to manufacturers to football clubs – say they’re struggling to get a single penny from the SNP Government.
“The Scottish Conservatives are bringing forward constructive proposals to break the deadlock and get cash out the door to businesses now.
“A 10-day turnaround guarantee and expanding the grants available would be a welcome first-step in restoring business confidence and fixing the broken business grants system.
“Support for jobs and businesses has to happen now.
“Every day that the SNP delay will see more businesses close and a spike in jobs lost.
“Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t seem to get it at all.
“Businesses are treated as an afterthought and an inconvenience.
“The SNP Government has routinely left businesses without the funding and guidance they need to survive this crisis.”
On further restrictions to business, Douglas Ross said:
“Without bringing forward any evidence about how it will suppress the virus, the First Minister has floated the idea of further restrictions on both takeaways and click and collect services.
“The only detail was a vague reference to Ireland taking similar actions.
“Closing click and collect services could drive more people to shop in supermarkets and shutting takeaways will put thousands of jobs at risk.
“If there is evidence that limiting those services will save lives, then clearly there will be a need for far higher levels of support to compensate the businesses that will be forced to close as a result.
“Businesses need clear guidance and time to prepare.
“They can’t be left in limbo wondering if they’ll be shut down next week without any evidence to justify the decision.”