Struggling firms in Aberdeen have shared nearly £500,000 in relief funding in the last month.
Cash-strapped business owners, hit hard by the continued coronavirus restrictions, have applied in their hundreds to the city council in the four weeks.
But co-leader Douglas Lumsden has said even more money might soon be awarded, as firms wait to see if they have been successful in applications for specific grants.
More than 500 applications were received by the local authority between January 25 and February 22.
So far, more than 140 of the one-off grants have been approved – worth around £475,000 – for the fund established to support those who had fallen through the cracks of other government support.
Council co-leader Mr Lumsden said: “All applications are being looked at by officers and some applications are being held back as no decision has been made to their application to the Strategic Framework Fund.
“I am delighted that the take up of the discretionary fund is being well received within the city of Aberdeen.
“Our aim was to get this money out to those that qualified as quickly as possible and our officers are to be commended for achieving this goal despite the many challenges they face from Covid-19 and other works the council are involved in.”
Earlier this month, Finance Secretary Kate Forbes doubled the funding councils had in their discretionary funds.
The reserves, allowing local authorities to address the economic pressures in their areas not covered by specific grants, were increased to £120 million.
And Mr Lumsden’s remarks suggest hundreds of firms could still be in a state of limbo, awaiting news on their initial application for help from grants including for taxi drivers, food and drink wholesales, events venues, and the tourism industry.
Only after these have been rejected will bosses be able to turn to the discretionary fund for help.
Sole traders, partnerships and limited Companies with no employees, excluding the director, are due £3,000 under the scheme, while businesses still employing people could get £5,000.
Set up in October, the scheme was designed to support local firms employing fewer than 50 people, while charities and social enterprises affected by the pandemic are eligible for help too.