Covid-19 Restrictions (Support for Tourism in West Scotland)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 21st January 2021.

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Photo of Mary Fee Mary Fee Labour

1. To ask the Scottish Government what support it is providing to tourism businesses in the West Scotland region in light of the current Covid-19 restrictions. (S5O-04921)

Photo of Christine Grahame Christine Grahame Scottish National Party

I remind members that, if they want to ask a supplementary question, they should put R in the chat function.

Photo of Fergus Ewing Fergus Ewing Scottish National Party

The Scottish Government recognises the difficulties that businesses throughout Scotland face and the fact that, although the restrictions are necessary, they have had a devastating impact on the sector. We have allocated almost £3 billion to support businesses. I announced a package of support worth £104 million for tourism and hospitality businesses, which was developed following many discussions with industry. The roll-out of those funds is under way.

Many tourism businesses in Scotland can also obtain regular support through the strategic framework business fund. On 11 January, we announced top-up grants worth up to £25,000 for larger premises. We continue to assess what more can be done to support individual sectors.

The Deputy Presiding Officer:

If members put R in the chat function, they have to make it clear which question they want to ask a supplementary question to, because their question could be about anything.

Photo of Mary Fee Mary Fee Labour

The £104.3 million of support will help many tourism and hospitality businesses in my region, but what support—financial or otherwise—is available to businesses in the tourism and hospitality supply chain that primarily rely on that sector?

Photo of Fergus Ewing Fergus Ewing Scottish National Party

Mary Fee makes a very reasonable point. We have worked on that long and hard. There are elements of the supply chain that are largely dependent on tourism and hospitality; the wholesale sector in particular springs to mind. I have worked long and hard with representatives of the wholesale sector to ensure that they are not left out.

My task is to get lifeline support out to those who need it, and we have not completed that task. I am determined that we will continue to do that and reach out to businesses that have been impacted but have not had help. That is absolutely imperative. I am determined to carry on doing that task for as long as the Covid crisis is upon us.