The COVID-19 small business and self-catering grant schemes, set up to help companies stay in business during the coronavirus crisis, have now paid out £59,628,750 to over 5500 Highland businesses.
The Council has now processed 99% of the applications received since the grant schemes opened.
Applications continue to be received every day but, based on estimates of the number of eligible businesses, uptake of the grant is still lower than expected.
The Highland Council’s Head of Development and Regeneration, Allan Maguire, said:
“We know from our non-domestic rates register that there are still many businesses who may be eligible who have not yet applied.
“While some may not require this support as their sector may be impacted less than others we do know further businesses are eligible and would encourage business owners to check the information on our website to see if they are eligible.
“Also, of some concern to the Council is the fact that certain areas of Highland have seen fewer applications than others.
“Over 2/3 of the businesses in the Inverness, Nairn and Badenoch & Strathspey areas expected to be eligible for the business grants scheme have applied whereas only around half of those in Caithness or Sutherland have done so.”
“Recognising that businesses in some of our most rural areas can face the biggest challenges we are particularly keen to see more applications from eligible businesses in these areas.
“Business owners who are unsure whether they qualify for the grant schemes are encouraged to go to the Council’s website and follow the links to the guidance and application form.”