RENFREWSHIRE Council has unveiled plans for a £1.3million 'rescue package' to help businesses get back on their feet after the coronavirus lockdown.

The proposals – including crisis loans, grants and advice services – are based on the results of a detailed survey of local firms carried out by the council and Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce.

Between them, the council and chamber spoke to more than 500 companies – around 10 per cent of Renfrewshire’s businesses – by phone and email to understand the issues they are facing and what would help them emerge from lockdown.

At a meeting of the council’s Emergencies Board tomorrow, members will be asked to approve plans for several new funds that will provide short-term support for the local economy.

These include £500,000 for zero-interest restart loans of up to £5,000 to help small and medium-sized businesses with short-term cashflow, as well as£400,000 for grants of up to £10,000 to help firms plan for growth in the medium term.

The proposals also include £250,000 for grants of up to £2,500 to help businesses adapt their premises to allow for physical distancing and a further £150,000 to provide expert advice to companies in crisis and self-employed people on how to access training and funding support.

The money is coming from within existing council budgets for business support and is expected to be the first stage of a longer-term economic recovery plan being developed in partnership with the local business sector through the Renfrewshire Economic Leadership Panel.

If the proposals are approved tomorrow, council officers will put in place and promote a process for firms to apply for the support from mid-August.

The measures are being announced in the same week as Scotland’s non-essential shops, bars and restaurants are allowed to reopen – and as the council launches its Renfrewshire Spend Local campaign, encouraging residents to support local traders.

Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson told The Gazette: “We understand the devastating impact of coronavirus on our local businesses and that some very challenging months lie ahead for them while the country emerges from lockdown.

“We and the chamber have spent the past few months having in-depth conversations with hundreds of our businesses to develop a detailed understanding of what the council could do to help.

“What they told us is that cashflow and reduced sales were the biggest issues, along with adapting to physical distancing and new regulations – and the package of measures we are now putting forward were designed around that.

“Although there is a very challenging financial outlook for the council too, we have prioritised this investment because we are determined to do all we can to help keep as many local businesses as possible trading and to help keep people in jobs.

“While we hope this package of support will, if approved, make a difference, we are at the same time calling on all residents to do what they can to help support local businesses.

"Money spent in the local area will support your local community, so please Spend Local if you can.”

Renfrewshire Council has already distributed more than £26m of financial support to local business through various Scottish Government funds designed to mitigate the effect of coronavirus.

More information on the range of business support on offer from the council can be found at and

Read all the latest from Renfrewshire and beyond


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