Council Looks to Create Funding Toolkit

As a result of the pandemic, businesses are having to adapt, innovate and adopt new ways of working – Dumfries & Galloway Council need to recognise that this presents opportunities as well as challenges.

Members of the council's Economy and Resources Committee (15 Sept) will be asked to agree to officers seeking early draw down of Dumfries and Galloway’s balance of £243k of business loans allocation available through the Business Loans Scotland fund. This would be be used to establish a funding toolkit from which support would be provided on a discretionary basis to businesses to help restart, change operating models and to diversify into other areas. The money for this fund was previously transferred over from Scottish Enterprise Borders and Scottish Enterprise Dumfries.

Throughout the initial emergency response, the Council played a key role supporting local businesses, and acted immediately to distribute Scottish Government grant aid, including the Small Business Grant Scheme, Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund and the Bed and Breakfast Hardship Fund. To date almost £43m from the Small Business grant scheme has been allocated. In addition, the Self-employed scheme paid out £272k, and the B’n’B fund £63k.  

 

Rob Davidson

Chair of Economy and Resources, Rob Davidson said: “We realise the initial funding will have helped during the pandemic, but we are not out of the woods yet, and more assistance is needed. As we start to emerge from COVID-19 this Council continues to do everything possible to support our local businesses and restart the economy. The development of the Council’s workstream action plans have been prepared covering the next three financial years reflecting current forecasts and ensuring sustainability and flexibility. Providing Members agree, this money could be used by businesses to make vital adaptations in order for them to stay afloat and change to adapt the new market.”

Vice Chair, Archie Dryburgh said:  “The Council will also need to adapt and change to ensure we are positioned to play our part in supporting local communities and businesses recover.  At a national level, economic forecasters are predicting that the economy will not recover to its pre-COVID levels of Gross Domestic Product until 2024, with unemployment likely to peak during late 2020 and into early 2021, so we must act now.