Following sustained pressure from the Help Our B&Bs campaign, launched by Edward Mountain MSP, the Scottish Government today performed a u-turn on excluding businesses without business bank accounts from financial support.
The Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture today announced £3 million of support to small B&Bs who were ineligible for other support due to not having a business bank account
Hundreds of B&Bs were initially left without support from the £20m Creative, Tourism and Hospitality Enterprise Hardship Fund because the Scottish Government made having a business bank account a key part of the criteria for applications.
Since the launch of that Hardship Fund, Edward Mountain MSP made repeated requests to both the First Minister and the Cabinet Secretary for Finance to change the criteria and help provide lifeline support to hundreds of B&Bs.
Edward Mountain MSP is delighted at the Scottish Government’s u-turn but feels the situation could have been prevented at the outset if the Cabinet Secretary for Finance had shown more business sense.
Edward Mountain MSP said:
“At long last there is some business sense from the Scottish Government. I am delighted that this u-turn will mean hundreds of B&Bs will now receive the lifeline support they so desperately need.
Since I began this campaign I have been contacted by B&Bs in Glencoe, Strathspey, Skye, Aberdeenshire and Dumfries – all have felt let down and abandoned by this Scottish Government.
Businesses who operate without business bank accounts should never have been ineligible for funding in the first place. If the Cabinet Secretary for Finance had been more aware of the reality of how small businesses operate, then this fiasco could have been prevented from the beginning.
B&Bs have been made to wait too long for funding and I trust the Scottish Government will now make the application process as smooth as possible so funding can be delivered quickly.”