Many businesses across the Highlands and Islands are still waiting to access business support funded by the SNP Government.

The latest figures show 18.4% of grants have still not been awarded to businesses in the Highland Council area. The figures for Argyll and Bute are similar at 18.9% while the figures for the Western Isles are one of the worst in Scotland at 31.1%.

That means cash that could be vital to the survival of local employers is not getting where it’s needed.

The news comes as the SNP continue to refuse to match business support elsewhere in the UK – meaning businesses with more than one property get less support than their counterparts south of the border.  Scottish businesses can only claim up to £18,500 for additional properties. Businesses with additional properties will get additional grants of up to 75 per cent of the value of the first grant. This means that companies’ additional properties will be eligible for grants of up to £7,500 or £18,500 depending on what grant it is eligible for. 

Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron said: “We are now months into this crisis, but far too many local businesses in my region are still waiting for the support they need to survive.

“Small and medium-sized enterprises will be vital to our recovery from any economic downturn.

“But if a significant portion here across  the Highlands and Islands don’t get funding on time, how can they hope to survive and save jobs?

“Businesses in Scotland are already at a disadvantage due to the lower level of support offered by the SNP government.

“Now they need to hear what Nicola Sturgeon’s Ministers will do to speed up these payments.”