Council works to help Argyll businesses

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Argyll and Bute Council has given out more than £18 million in business grants and reminds businesses affected by COVID-19 they can apply for funding support until March 31, 2021.

The council is administering Scottish Government business support schemes, which include rate reliefs and specific grants for small and medium sized businesses.

Staff from a range of council services have either refocused their work, or left their usual roles temporarily, to help deliver support to local businesses at this hugely difficult time.

At close of business on Monday April 27, the council had approved 1,665 applications for the £10k grants with 1,485 approved and 160 applications for the £25k grant with 137 approved.

Full details on support for businesses is available on the council website  www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/coronavirus-information-businesses

In addition, the council’s Business Gateway and Economic Growth teams have helped with more than 200 coronavirus-related business enquiries to help businesses deal with the impact of COVID-19.

Support has ranged from helping businesses identify which funding they could apply for, to sharing guidance on social distancing for business, to managing cashflow and exploring new opportunities to market and sell their products to the public safely.

All Business Gateway advisers are working from home and can be contacted by phone or email to provide free, confidential advice and support.

Free webinars they offer throughout the year are now available online, covering everything from managing your business remotely to switching to trading online. Find out more at www.bgateway.com/coronavirus-business-support-across-scotland

Leader of the council, Councillor Aileen Morton said: ‘Credit goes to all the staff who have been working incredibly hard on this, including those who transferred over from their normal work to help process grant applications.

‘Early on, we raised concerns about businesses which were missing out on support through the original government announcements and it’s great to see further assistance for newly self-employed people is about to become available.

‘We are already working on recovery plans so that we are ready, as soon as restrictions lessen, to take action to help businesses and communities  rebuild.’