Scottish Borders Council has distributed £70m in grants to help businesses through the pandemic

Many businesses which would have gone under have survived as a result of £70m in grants distributed by Scottish Borders Council, members of the authority’s executive committee were informed today. (Tuesday, May 18)

By Paul Kelly
Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 1:19 pm
Mark Rowley.
Mark Rowley.

Almost 5,800 Borders businesses have shared a-near £70m in grants from the UK and Scottish governments to help through the pandemic – monies distributed by council staff.

It was an achievement recognised by Councillor Mark Rowley, executive member for economic development and finance, who said: “Support has been delivered by the council to almost six thousand businesses across the Scottish Borders.

"At one stage we had 68 people getting out support and we don’t have 68 people in finance or economic development, so that was people from lots of areas of the council working in really difficult circumstances, while home-skilling their children, working from kitchen tables and bedrooms. We need to recognise the huge contribution that staff made.

"I have an inbox full of people telling me that jobs would not be there, that businesses would have not survived, if we had not got that funding out. That funding was coming down from UK and Scottish governments and we were just doing the hard graft of getting it out, but in many instances if we had not got it out as quickly as we did some of those business would not have survived.”

Members also agreed to allocate a remaining £400,000 from a £3.2m discretionary grant to help support the self-employed with payments of between £1,000 and £1,500 each.