Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon has announced significant restrictions of Dumfries & Galloway’s hospitality industry starting from today, Friday the 9th of October, as part of the latest range of measures designed to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Scotland expressed their disappointment at the moves.
Hisashi Kuboyama, FSB’s development manager for Dumfries & Galloway, said: “The announcement by the First Minister is disappointing and could mean last orders for many businesses across Dumfries & Galloway.”
“While there are heavier restrictions for the central belt, businesses across the region are already trying to make up for lost time and income from the lockdown and many will have marked the October school holidays as a key time to increase much-needed trade.
“Without significant government support many businesses, who through no fault of their own and who have complied with every challenge they have been thrown, face an uncertain future.”
“While we welcome the announcement of a £40m package of support funding, speed is now of the essence. That’s why we will work with government to ensure that this cash reaches those businesses in the greatest need as quickly as possible, including those indirectly impacted by the changes.”
Paul O’Keeffe, FSB volunteer and business owner in Dumfriesshire, said: “The vast majority of businesses including ourselves have done everything that’s been required to make our staff and customer safe. So it is frustrating that policymakers are focussing on further restricting business activities when they have failed to persuade a share of the general public to follow the rules.
“It would have been helpful if hospitality businesses are allowed to try and do something different so they can continue operating and bring in some money. The Scottish Government really needs to work alongside hospitality businesses on dealing with issues and also on providing support that is desperately needed now.”
FSB is warning that the mental health of small business owners and the self-employed has suffered during this pandemic.
Hisashi Kuboyama said: “The vast majority of those in business want to be – and are – playing their part in tackling the crisis. But this year has taken its toll on the mental health of those that work for themselves, especially those that operate in certain sectors.
“Governments north and south of the border need to ensure there’s enough help on offer to see smaller firms through a crisis that’s not of their making. These local firms aren’t expendable, and care needs to be taken not to treat them as such.”
FSB offers a range of mental health support advice for members and the wider small business community.
- As experts in business, FSB offers members a wide range of vital business services, including advice, financial expertise, support and a powerful voice in Government. More information is available at www.fsb.org.uk
- FSB has collated a number of resources to support the mental health of business owners and the self-employed during the coronavirus crisis: https://www.fsb.org.uk/resources-page/checklist-looking-after-your-mental-health-during-covid-19.html