FSB: Schools move will boost economies but closed firms deserve new help

Press Releases 30 Jul 2020

FSB Scotland on lockdown easing

The First Minister today announced that all schools in Scotland will return full-time from mid-August. However, the Scottish Government has today indicated that other businesses still barred from operating will not be able to re-open until late August at the earliest, with some firms unlikely to serve customers and clients until mid-September.

Andrew McRae, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Scotland policy chair, said: “The First Minister has identified the right national priority. Getting schools up and running full-time will not only benefit young people, it’ll provide much needed relief to working parents and a boost to local economies.

“But we cannot forget the local businesses which the Scottish Government has today indicated will not be able to open until late August or even September. The pandemic is no more the fault of the local driving instructor or personal trainer than anyone else, but their livelihoods will take a greater hit.

“Similarly, it might be the right public health decision to keep non-essential offices shut, but long-term closures will upend town and city centre economies. With the suggestion that existing grant schemes may be underspent, if Ministers want to keep certain sectors shut for longer they may need to provide additional support to operators directly and indirectly affected.”

ENDS

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Stuart Mackinnon
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