£140m in support for Fife businesses and families to survive through COVID
Almost £140 million has been paid to families and businesses in Fife to help them survive during the coronavirus pandemic.
New figures published by Fife Council reveal that hard-up households have received a total of £6.8m in payments during term time and holidays in lieu of free school meals.
This included £2.7m of term-time payments during the first lockdown from March to August last year, £1.2 million for the second lockdown from January to March this year, and £2.3m of hardship payments during the winter and summer holidays.
This will continue this summer with a new Scottish Government "family pandemic payment" of £100 per household this summer and Christmas and a "low-income pandemic payment" of £130 for households benefitting from a council tax reduction.
Businesses have also received £133.1m in support to keep them afloat when lockdown forced them to close.
Fife Council administered £59.6m of these payments during the first lockdown, the vast majority of which supported small businesses and those operating in the hospitality and leisure sectors.
Another £72.2m was paid out between the end of last year and early this year, including £64.1m of government grants for businesses affected by the second lockdown. And 1098 Fife taxi and private hire drivers - three quarters of the Kingdom's total - applied for and received £1.1m of support grants to help them with costs.
Diarmuid Cotter, Fife Council's head of customer services, said: "The additional work undertaken by staff...ensured substantial support was given to both individuals and business during a time of vulnerability."