More than 16,000 businesses across Scotland are still waiting for SNP government support as they battle the impact of Covid-19.
Latest figures have revealed one in five firms working in retail, leisure and hospitality have still to have their application for assistance approved.
Scottish Conservative shadow finance secretary Donald Cameron said: “We’re now more than two months into this crisis, and too many businesses are on the brink."
“The Scottish Government needs to buck up its ideas and get these companies the support they deserve."
Mr Cameron, a Highlands and Islands MSP, said: “Failure to do so jeopardises thousands of jobs, here in the Highlands and Islands, and right across Scotland."
“Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses seem to be particularly badly affected and they are absolutely crucial to the regional economy. We know this is a public health crisis first and foremost, but getting it right economically is vitally important too."
“When we come out of this pandemic we need to have a functioning economy in place or else we could see continuing depopulation across the Highlands and Islands.”
The statistics show that of 85,511 applications to the emergency grant scheme, 16,003 (18%) are still waiting for an answer.
The SNP Government has been criticised previously for loopholes which precluded some small companies from seeking help, and a divergent system which penalised firms with more than one premises.
The latest figures are here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-business-support-fund-grant-statistics/