Details of a new £150 million fund aimed at helping smaller businesses in Scotland will be revealed by Rishi Sunak in his Budget this week.
The Chancellor is to set out his second Budget of the year on Wednesday, with the Tory promising he will focus on “looking to the future and building a stronger economy for the British people”.
While his previous two budgets were heavily focused on dealing with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, rebuilding is now at the centre of the Chancellor’s efforts.
And the new £150 million fund to help thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises in Scotland is expected to be included in his announcements.
The fund, to be delivered through the British Business Bank, will be similar to existing schemes in England and Northern Ireland, which have provided investment and loans for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Details on how businesses in Scotland can access the fund will be outlined in due course.
But Mr Sunak said it would show the UK Government was “continuing to support businesses across the UK”.
He stated: “This fund will help thousands of small businesses in Scotland to make ideas a reality and grow their companies.
“I’m always impressed by the innovation and determination of SMEs and the UK Government will continue to support businesses across the UK.”
Scottish Conservative economy spokeswoman Liz Smith welcomed the proposal, saying: “The UK Treasury’s £150 million fund for small businesses in Scotland is fantastic news for our economic recovery.
“The UK Government’s furlough scheme helped to save hundreds of thousands of jobs during the pandemic. Now, this fund will help small businesses in Scotland to grow back even stronger.
“Small and medium-sized enterprises are a vital part of our economy, and this UK Government fund will put them at the heart of our recovery.”