Small businesses in Perth and Kinross may be eligible for grants of up to £1,000 under a new funding scheme.
The news comes as Perth and Kinross Council launches it Micro Enterprise Fund to support businesses that employ fewer than 10 people.
Any eligible local business can apply for the grant, whether they are just starting out or are looking to expand.
Council bosses believe small businesses are imperative to the area’s recovery from the virus.
Council leader Murray Lyle said: “Small businesses will be critical in the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Around 60% of Scots are employed by small to medium-sized enterprises and, as such, microbusinesses are key to our economy.”
He added: “Whether it is a boutique shop, a café or a new business just getting started, these grants will help firms develop as we move out of the pandemic, and so I am delighted the Council is able to administer these grants and help start our economic recovery.”
Range of purposes
The money can be used for a range of purposes, such as the purchase of equipment, product or market development, or commercial property development or acquisition.
It can also be used to develop e-commerce platforms, digital transformation activities, marketing or as leverage for co-finance to secure additional investment.
Sole traders, community groups, social enterprises and co-operatives can apply but betting shops, gambling-related activities and off-licences are not eligible to do so.
‘Serious financial impact’
In April last year, Perth and Kinross Council doubled the financial aid distributed to small businesses affected by Covid-19 to almost £10 million.
Council officers considered thousands of applications from local organisations seeking financial support.
The local authority’s business branch, Invest in Perth at the time said: “Perth and Kinross Council has now paid out just under £10 million in grant support.
“We fully appreciate the serious financial impact that the lockdown is having on small businesses.”
Councillor Lyle added: “This is a massive amount of money going to lots of small businesses across all areas of Perth and Kinross.”
Businesses can apply for the latest funding grant on the Perth and Kinross Council website.