Businesses in Dumfries and Galloway could miss out on emergency grants if they fail to apply, local MSP Joan McAlpine has said. The South Scotland MSP appealed to local businesses to apply for the Scottish Government grants to help them through the corona crisis. Her call follows the release of figures from Dumfries and Galloway council which show that fewer than half of eligible companies have so far applied for the payments.

Local firms could be missing out on cash sums worth up to £25,000 and the MSP is asking business owners to check if they qualify.

Commenting, Ms McAlpine says,

“Figures put out by Dumfries and Galloway Council on Friday show that 48% of firms who are eligible for the £25,000 have sent in applications but just 39% of firms that are eligible for grants of £10,000 have applied. This means more than half of all qualifying businesses could be missing out.

“Although some companies might be intending to apply in the near future, some still might not know about the scheme or perhaps they think they’re not eligible. So I’m urging any business owner to or call the council’s dedicated helpline on 01387 260280 (Mon-Fri 9am – 5pm) to find out if they qualify. You don’t need to repay any grant you receive, it’s not a loan.

“Most small businesses who were in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme and Rural Relief can get a one-off grant of £10,000. Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value between £18,001 and up to and including £51,000 will be able to apply for a one-off grant of £25,000. You can also get this grant if you applied for Nursery Relief, Business Growth Accelerator Relief, Disabled Relief or Fresh Start but are eligible for the Small Business Bonus Scheme.

“Self-catering accommodation and caravans are eligible for a grant if their business is a primary source of income for the ratepayer (one third or more), and their accommodation was let out for 140 days or more in financial year 2019-20.

“Please pass this information on to any small business owner who you think might be struggling, this money is here to help them and it would be awful if any went under because they didn’t know about it.”