Responding to further details of the £40 million business support funding outlined today by the Scottish Government, Dr Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:
“In a matter of hours, businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector will have to close in Scotland, immediately impacting jobs, livelihoods and the supply chain.
“The £40 million funding from the Scottish Government, whilst welcome, does not go far enough. Businesses are being forced to close their doors again and regrettably, this level of funding will not even scratch the surface to compensate for the loss of trade. It is critical the funding is released quickly to businesses in a matter of days.
“Uncertainty is rife in the industry impacting on our ability to plan, prepare and hire. It has been clear for months that this pandemic is not going away in the short to medium terms and the start/stop approach from both the Scottish & UK Governments is only adding to the unprecedented difficulties facing businesses and our employees. We hope the Chancellor commits to extending the furlough support scheme in his forthcoming announcement to help businesses protect jobs.
“Both Governments need to get a grip of the evidence that shows where and how the virus spreads and use this data to develop a coherent strategy that enables as much of the economy to open as is possible to do so safely.
“The only way to save jobs and livelihoods is to manage how we live and work through COVID-19. The only way we can do this is to enable us to continue to run our businesses in the controlled environments we have proven can be safe for staff and customers.”