Local MP, Drew Hendry (pictured) has written to the Scottish Government Ministers to seek support for small bed and breakfast owners currently missing out on financial assistance because they do not use a business bank account.
Earlier this month the Scottish Government launched a new hardship fund for the creative, tourism and hospitality sectors as part of £2.3 billion of measures to help companies struggling financially due to the pandemic.
The fund aimed to support those businesses excluded from the support package announced by the Chancellor and grant support made available by the Scottish Government through the rating system.
However, measures to protect the scheme from fraudulent activity has left some small business owners without support because the scheme requires that the business operates with a business bank.
Mr Hendry has been in regular contact with the Scottish Government on the issue after several local B&B owners contacted him for help.
The Highland MP, says he is hopeful a solution “can soon be found” to ensure that these business owners get much needed financial support without exposing the fund to fraudulent claims.
Commenting Mr Hendry said:
“Several local bed and breakfast owners have asked for my help because they have not qualified for current UK Government funding schemes and have not been able to take advantage of the additional Scottish Government grant support.
“Most recently, these small businesses were unable to access funding support through the Scottish Government’s additional hardship business grant because they do not have a business bank account.
“Given that there no legal compunction for these small businesses to run from business bank accounts, many B&B proprietors choose to manage their accounts through their current personal account, or savings accounts, as a cost-cutting measure.
“I understand their disappointment at not being able to access support, and I will continue to do what I can to help along.
“To this end, I have been in regular contact with my colleagues in the Scottish Government to highlight the significant financial difficulties this has left these micro-business owners in, and to see what can be done to resolve this anomaly.
“I have asked the Finance Secretary and the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture to see if we can find a way to help these B&B owners.
“They are, after all, are missing out on financial support through no fault of their own and I know everyone is keen to see them supported.
“Hopefully, a workable solution can soon be found.”