Keith Brown Economy Secretary in the Scottish Government has voiced his serious concerns over funding for small and medium businesses in Scotland as the countdown to the UK leaving the EU is now underway.
“The main risk facing Scotland’s economy continues to be the prospect of a hard Brexit. It presents a huge threat to jobs, trade, investment and living standards. European Structural Funds, worth £828 million to Scotland, and European Territorial Cooperation funding worth up to £50m, are vitally important to Scotland’s economy. They boost SME growth, support research and innovation, improve education and skills and support digital connectivity across rural Scotland.”
The SME Holding Fund is part of the European Structural Funds that help to support the Scottish economy and is managed by the Scottish Government. It’s £40 million is matched by an additional £60 million from public and private sector delivery partners, alongside private sector funding of £150 million so that at least £250 million was to be invested in 500 companies by December 2018, creating 2,000 jobs.
The Fund supports a trade body aimed at encouraging investment in young, innovative Scottish companies. It is also able to give companies access to microcredit finance of up to £25,000, loans of up to £100,000 and equity investment of up to £2 million.
Keith Brown said:
“The UK government must commit to ensuring this funding is made up in full following Brexit. Otherwise key initiatives, for example the £250 million SME Holding Fund, will be at risk.”
Reporter: Fiona Grahame