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Federation of Small Businesses' Highlands and Islands development manager welcomes move by Scottish Government to extend measures to help small firms and self-employed during Covid-19 coronavirus lockdown

By Philip Murray

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David Richardson.
David Richardson.

MOVES by the Scottish Government to extend the £220m package of measures aimed at helping businesses weather the coronavirus lockdown have been welcomed by a leading Highland figure.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) had contacted Holyrood to raise concerns that the existing help did not go far enough to assist the newly self-employed, smaller chains, businesses with acute short term cash-flow problems and other firms.

But following today's announcement of extended measures, the FSB's Highlands and Islands development manager, David Richardson, said the move would be of particular help to people in rural northern communities.

He said: “The remote, rural nature of much of the Highlands & Islands means that we have a higher proportion of self-employed workers than elsewhere in Scotland, and we also have a higher proportion of our workforce engaged in tourism-related businesses.

"There is no doubt that this region is more vulnerable economically to the damage caused by the current crisis than many other parts of the UK, and protecting local businesses and communities is vitally important.

“While we don’t know all the details yet, these new Scottish Government measures, which come after campaigning from the FSB, will undoubtedly help a great many Highlands & Islands businesses and the self-employed, and, by extension, the fragile communities in which they live and operate.”

The news has also been welcomed by political figures.

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