Aberdeen City Council has launched a new Business Transition Fund to provide grant support of up to £30,000.
The aim of it is to support businesses that, due to immediate financial pressures, are not able to adapt to new ways of working or invest in staying competitive in a post Covid-19 economy.
Grants are tiered to the size of business, from £5,000 to individuals through to £30,000 for medium-sized businesses.
Fund to help develop more offerings
It is hoped the fund will help businesses to develop new solutions to counter the economic impacts of the pandemic, including but not limited to digital adoption, energy efficiencies and net-zero transition, building adaption and workforce development.
The council said changes to operating practices and additional regulations had left many businesses with inadequate financial power to adapt to the changing landscape.
Additional challenges were also created due to lack of income and costs associated with new ways of working, development of new processes to reflect new markets, upgrading systems to reflect new regulations and inability to diversify.
As a result, a large number of firms have seen their markets reduce and supply chain disruption.
At the same time, many of them have had to shift to a more digital offering.
Council city growth and resources committee convenor Ryan Houghton said: “We have listened to local businesses and launched the Business Transition Fund as part of our commitment to help support their recovery – and to meet the ongoing challenges of the post Covid-19 economic landscape.
“We want to help those businesses facing immediate financial difficulty to invest in their business and by doing so remain competitive, provide job security and create new job opportunities – which will be beneficial to the local economy and people of Aberdeen now and in the future.”
The Business Transition Fund is part of the Local Authority Discretionary Fund scheme, which has provided more than £5.2 million to local businesses to date.
Businesses urged to apply
Alex Nicoll, SNP group leader for the council, said: “I look forward to seeing this cash finally passed on to hard-pressed local businesses.
“The Scottish Government announced the discretionary fund last November.
“It’s disappointing the administration have sat on millions, as businesses and self-employed people across Aberdeen struggled.
“I’d encourage any businesses who could benefit from a grant to apply.
“Let’s get this money out there into the local economy, boosting our city and protecting jobs.”