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Hundreds of local businesses have yet to apply for support they could be eligible for through the Scottish Government’s Business Support Fund.

Launched to help certain businesses deal with the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, the fund offers a range of grant support to help protect jobs and prevent business closures.

To date, nearly £18m has been paid out to almost 1,600 local businesses.  However Falkirk Council, who administer the fund, estimate that up to 800 more businesses could potentially benefit from the scheme but have still to submit an application.

Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, Leader of Falkirk Council, said: “The fund has proved a lifeline to many local businesses.  That is why we would urge any business owner who has not applied to visit our website, read the criteria and apply online. You’ll quickly be informed if your business is eligible and, if it is, payment can be made within 10 working days.”

Funding helps local company continue to support the NHS

Securing a Business Support Fund grant has helped Bonnybridge based BMES Scotland Ltd continue to assist the NHS in its fight against coronavirus.

Signposted to the grant by Falkirk Council’s Business Gateway team, the electrical and mechanical contractor is using the funding to cover day-to-day running costs as it continues to service critical NHS contracts including:

  • The complete electrical refurbishment of an old ward to create wards with the capacity for 44-beds and Intensive Care Unit at the University Hospital Crosshouse, Kilmarnock
  • Stripping out and replacing electrics to help create a 27-bed trauma ward at Wishaw General

Barry Munnoch, Managing Director, said: “The Business Support Fund has been a massive help. The whole application process was seamless and the funds were in our bank account within a matter of days.  All pretty impressive.”

Grant provides couple with safe harbour from coronavirus

Having already had to dip into reserves to tide them through a quiet start to the year, Stephen and Lilian Wallace, owners of The Shore at Carronshore restaurant and bar, felt immediate relief when they realised their business would be eligible for the scheme.

Lilian said: “The grant has allowed us to clear immediate debts and future overheads that we still have to pay even in lockdown. Without the Business Support Fund grant we were in dire straits and I have no doubt our business would have gone into administration fairly quickly.”

Funding gives business protection during coronavirus

Being eligible for a range of COVID-19 business support, including the Business Support Fund, has helped Mark Paterson of Gemini Supplies safeguard six jobs and pay suppliers while his business remains closed due to lockdown.

He said: “Accessing the support has taken the stress out of operating my business, allowing me to pay suppliers and salaries on time. Without it my business would have struggled to survive.  My focus now is on surviving the year and hopefully getting back on track in 2021.”

To find out if your business is eligible for the Scottish Government’s Business Support Fund - and for information on other COVID-19 business support - visit Falkirk Council’s website.