Scottish SMEs received a boost today when First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced a package of support worth around £500m. The news came on the day that the SNP laid out their legislative agenda for the coming parliament, in which she set out “how we will seek to protect Scotland’s interests, particularly our economic interests, in the wake of the EU referendum”.
The support will be delivered via a three-year Scottish Growth Scheme, which will see the government work to unlock investment for the private sector following the uncertainty caused by the vote to leave the EU.
The Growth Fund is set to include investment guarantees as well as loans, some of up to £5 million, which will be offered to SMEs that may not otherwise be able to pursue growth due to restrictions on their access to finance.
‘A half billion pound vote of confidence’
“The proposal for a Scottish Growth Fund is an exceptional response to an exceptional economic challenge,” Sturgeon said. “This is a half-billion pound vote of confidence in Scottish business, Scottish workers and the Scottish economy.
“We are determined to build an economy where everyone has a fair chance to contribute to growth and where everyone can share in the benefits of growth.”