SEIZING Scotland’s economic potential, creating secure, sustainable and satisfying jobs and supporting businesses recover from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic should be a national endeavour, according to Economy Secretary Kate Forbes.
Outlining how business will be supported to build a sustainable economic recovery, Ms Forbes announced up to £12 million of funding for businesses in Level 2 areas – including those in the hospitality, events, weddings and soft play sectors.
Taxi drivers and operators across Scotland will receive up to an additional £62 million of funding, bringing the total support for the sector during the pandemic to more than £90 million.
A further £25 million will support the culture sector through the second round of the Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund and the Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund. This will be targeted at those who previously received support from these funds and those who were eligible but did not get support.
A new 10 year National Strategy for Economic Transformation will set out how business and government will work together to create the best conditions for entrepreneurs to flourish. A National Challenge Competition, backed by £50 million of funding, will support projects with the greatest economic potential.
Ms Forbes said:
“The Scottish Government owes a great debt of gratitude to everybody who put the needs of the country ahead of their own financial or business interests and I would like to thank you. Your livelihoods have been on the line for over a year. The essential restrictions have saved lives, but not without a cost.
“That is why supporting businesses has rightly been a priority for us and will continue to be so. Businesses in Scotland have directly benefitted from £3.6 billion in support – more than a third of total COVID-19 funding.
“We have announced up to a further £62 million for taxi drivers across Scotland and up to £12 million for businesses in Level 2 areas to ensure they have support as we continue to keep the virus under control.
“I am determined we will push forward with an ambitious agenda to drive recovery and transform our economy. To do that I am offering an open invitation to anybody who wants to play their part in rebuilding our country.
“We must unashamedly use the experience, expertise and ingenuity of businesses, trade unions and workforces to deliver greater, greener and fairer prosperity. We want to work in partnership with the entrepreneurs and thinkers, the job creators and the hard workers.
“Our vision is nothing short of economic transformation – this has to be a national endeavour.”