Following the news that the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund is making £45m available to wholesalers and other companies that have fallen through the cracks of other support measures, the Scottish Wholesale Association (SWA) is urging its members to put in an application.
Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop announced that the fund, managed by the enterprise agencies for “vulnerable SME firms which are vital to the local or national economic foundations of Scotland”, will be open for applications by the end April with recipients receiving funds in early May.
Colin Smith, SWA chief executive, said: “We are delighted that the critical role being played by Scotland’s wholesale sector and the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic on our industry is being recognised by the Scottish Government.
“This is lifeline support for our sector in unprecedented times which have seen some SWA members lose substantial income following the closure of pubs, restaurants, hotels and other hospitality businesses. Officials have told us grants will be available to wholesalers employing under 250 people and we would urge our members to put in an application,” he added.
Darren Goldney, managing director of Unitas Wholesale, added that it’s encouraging to see the grant fund scheme in Scotland and shows how organisations like SWA and FWD are critical in helping wholesalers: “Unitas Wholesale members have supported this lobbying and as well as awaiting detail on the Scottish grant system and eligibility, we are pushing hard to understand the action coming from the insight we have provided to DEFRA.”
“So far, meaningful support for wholesale in grants has not been forthcoming, yet we are the essential link between outlets who fight to survive and are receiving grants, and suppliers whose support we need but who need paying,” he added.
Read more: SWA welcomes decision to push back DRS