NEW Scottish Government figures reveal that just over half of the money earmarked for coronavirus grant funding had been distributed to businesses as of April 28.
Although some of the funding – such as the recently announced Hardship Fund – were not open to applications in the period covered by the figures, the statistics revealed that there is a marked difference in how councils across Scotland are processing applications and paying grants.
In total, 74,216 applications had been received as of April 28, with 45,387 grants paid to businesses. This accounted for £526 million of the Scottish Government’s £1bn grants fund.
City of Edinburgh Council had paid out the most grants – having received 5505 applications the council had paid 3784 grants totalling £49m.
Glasgow received by far the most applications – 12,840 – and paid out 3217 grants, to a value of £39m.
In most cases the number of applications was several hundred higher than the number of grants paid. However, some areas had received considerably more applications than they had paid out in grants.
These included South Lanarkshire, which had received 4815 applications and paid 2357 grants and Fife, which received 3966 applications and paid out 2051 grants.
The Scottish Government stated that in some cases the figures are a “best estimate” and some applications have likely been counted more than once if an application was rejected due to factors such as missing information and were then re-submitted.
Andrew McRae, Scotland policy chair at the Federation of Small Businesses, said the figures reveal that “some councils are getting this lifeline funding distributed far faster than others”.
“When ministers originally promised a ten day turn around for this cash, you can understand the frustration of some smaller Scottish businesses who are running out of road,” said McRae.
“It isn’t good enough for some councils to have hundreds or even thousands of local businesses waiting for their grant to process.
“Therefore we need to see councils and the Scottish Government redouble their efforts and deliver a speedier, more consistent approach across the country.”
|Local authority||Total number of
|Total number of
|Total value of grants awarded (£m)|
|Argyll and Bute||2,267||1,717||£19.26|
|City of Edinburgh||5,505||3,784||£49.45|
|Dumfries and Galloway||2,725||2,110||£23.11|
|Na h-Eileanan Siar||639||423||£4.79|
|Perth & Kinross||2,835||2,095||£23.77|