Council encourages application
ESKDALE businesses could miss out on emergency grants if they fail to apply.
They are being encouraged to apply for the Scottish government grants to help them through the coronavirus crisis.
Dumfries and Galloway Council has released figures which show that fewer than half of eligible companies have so far applied for the payments.
They could be missing out on cash sums worth up to £25,000.
Joan McAlpine, South of Scotland SNP MSP, is asking business owners to check whether they qualify.
She said: “The figures show that last Friday 48 per cent of firms, which are eligible for the £25,000, have sent applications and only 39 per cent of businesses eligible to receive grants of £10,000 have applied.
“This means more than half of all qualifying businesses could be missing out.
She is concerned that, although some companies may intend to apply in the near future, some still may not know about the scheme or, perhaps, they think they’re not eligible. She is urging any business owner to call the council’s dedicated helpline on 01387 260280, open from Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, to find out whether they qualify. They don’t need to repay any grant they receive; it’s not a loan.
“Most small businesses, which were in receipt of the small business bonus scheme and rural relief, can get a one-off grant of £10,000.
“Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value between £18,001 and £51,000 will be able to apply for a one-off grant of £25,000.
They can also get this grant if they applied for nursery relief, business growth accelerator relief, disabled relief or fresh start but were eligible for the small business bonus scheme.
Self-catering accommodation and caravans are eligible for a grant if their business is a primary source of income for the ratepayer (one third or more), and their accommodation was let for 140 days or more in financial year 2019-20.
Ms McAlpine added: “Please pass on this information to any small business owner who you think may be struggling.
“This money is here to help them and it would be awful if any went under because they didn’t know about it.”