The three separate funds will be administered by local authorities and Scotland’s enterprise agencies and will begin to pay out grants in early May.
They include a £34 million hardship fund for the newly self-employed, a £20 million fund for small and micro enterprises in the creative, tourism and hospitality sectors and £45 million for viable SMEs crucial to the Scottish economy that are vulnerable.
Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:
“Our economy has been hit hard by this crisis and previously profitable businesses have seen demand dry up overnight. Our support will help alleviate the hardship those individuals and companies are facing.
“I am particularly pleased that we will be able to help the newly self-employed who do not qualify for the UK’s scheme and are facing financial hardship as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19).
“We also recognise the particular impact of COVID-19 on our creative, tourism and hospitality sectors at what would normally be their busiest period. This fund is intended to relieve the hardship of smaller firms that are ineligible for other forms of support.
“As well as dealing with this immediate crisis, we must look to the future. We must ensure that viable and vital businesses in all sectors with a part to play in strengthening the resilience of Scotland’s economy survive this crisis and thrive in future, which is why £45 million is being allocated to support those firms.
“We continue to engage with businesses on a regular basis to understand their needs and press the UK Government to deliver for them.”
Carroll Buxton, interim chief executive at Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), said:
“COVID-19 is having a severe impact on companies across the Highlands and Islands, as it is in other parts of Scotland and across the world.
“We very much welcome this additional Scottish Government funding that will be a huge help to many of our smallest and most vulnerable businesses.
“Our staff have been working remotely since lockdown began and HIE remains open for business in all parts of our region. We have worked with colleagues in South of Scotland Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise to develop these funds and are ready to help ensure that this additional support is available to those in greatest need across the Highlands and Islands.”
Information about these funds is available at the FindBusinessSupport page on the Scottish Government website.