£72m support helps Fife businesses create almost 700 jobs during lockdown

Fife businesses got over £72m of Scottish Government funding during the pandemic, a new report has revealed.

Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 2:48 pm
Amy King., who runs a bridal shop in Tolbooth Street, Kirkcaldy, was one of the businesses supported. (Pic: George McLuskie)

And the organisation which administered the cash, was able to help create almost 700 new jobs, and support over 500 start-ups businesses.

The figures came from the board of Business Gateway Fife as it was presented with the 20/21 figures for the delivery of its core activities during the pandemic.

Mark Jones, chairman, paid tribute to the teams which took on the “mammoth task” of getting the region’s businesses through lockdown.

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Katrina Scott at Boni Hair was one of the businesses supported

He said: “In a year like no other, some remarkable figures have emerged showing the mammoth task our Business Gateway and economic development teams faced to make sure businesses received the appropriate support and funding promptly.

“They have gone above and beyond to deliver this critical support to Fife’s businesses.”

The report shows the creation of 676 new jobs with a further 113 jobs through Financial Support to Business grants - and this at a time when many Fife businesses accessed UK Government furlough support for staff whilst redesigning and adapting their business models to pivot to new ways of working and customer requirements,

Business Gateway Fife and Fife Council Economic Development handled some 7,116 applications for support.

Business Gateway Fife supported 519 new business start-ups with a £19.9 million projected turnover.

Other significant highlights included events and workshops which were all moved online. Although they were delivered remotely, the 200 events attracted 1,269 attendees and showed no reduction in attendance.

The extremely popular and valuable Digital Boost programme supported 89 businesses through 1-2-1 support.

Fife’s growing and established businesses did not miss out as 1,257 received assistance with 85 able to kickstart growth projects through accessing Expert Help.

Councillor Altany Craik, convenor of Fife Council’s economy committee said: “I am really impressed by some of the figures, especially the immense Covid support grant payments that have been delivered to Fife’s businesses.

“These are unprecedented times and hopefully many of our businesses will have the ability and the confidence to bounce back from the disruption and trauma that the lockdowns and restrictions have caused.”

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