“Our seafood processors are the lifeblood of many rural and coastal communities”.
In a press release, the Scottish government writes that it has secured GBP 10 million in assistance for processing businesses during COVID-19 pressures.
The Scottish Seafood Business Resilience Fund will provide a combination of grants and loans to businesses suffering severe hardship following the shutdown of international markets and the food service industry across the UK.
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A mix of grants, up to the revised state aid level of EUR 120,000 and loans will be available.
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said the Scottish Government is “working flat out” to support businesses and that parts of the seafood sector have been decimated by the collapse of the export and hospitality markets, and are now struggling to survive.
“Our seafood processors are the lifeblood of many rural and coastal communities, supporting thousands of local jobs and producing some of the finest seafood in the world. The industry has been very clear that cashflow is the critical issue facing businesses and this new fund seeks to inject capital into businesses to help them meet their ongoing costs, keep the business solvent and keep people on the payroll.
“Our approach is rightly focused on those businesses who may need our support the most and we would encourage others that can step in to help, to do so. I am also exploring how supermarkets and other retailers might help ensure more of Scotland’s seafood reaches Scottish consumers to help create alternative markets.
“I continue to have regular discussions with the industry during this time and I pay tribute to the leadership shown by the Scottish Seafood Association and Seafood Scotland. We will now move to get these funds out of the door as quickly as possible to assist a sector which has been a real success story for the Scottish economy.”