Orkney’s MSP, Liam McArthur, has today (Thursday) urged the Scottish Government to urgently provide clarity on when the DigitalBoost Development Grant will reopen after local businesses were left frustrated at being prevented from making applications.
The grant scheme, designed to help businesses enhance their digital reach and capabilities during the lockdown, was suspended hours after opening for applications on Tuesday, such was the demand for support.
Mr McArthur has therefore written to the Finance Secretary, Kate Forbes to highlight the experience of many local businesses in Orkney, who are concerned they will miss out on the support they need.
Orkney’s MSP commented:
“With more and more businesses looking to expand or improve their online presence, the DigitalBoost Development Grant is a good way of targeting support where it is needed.
“The particular importance for island businesses of being able to market and sell on line has long been recognised, and so I welcome this initiative.
“Unfortunately, many businesses have been left frustrated and confused by the sudden suspension of applications, including a number in Orkney who have contacted me.
“There is still no clarity on what will happen to existing applications made after the scheme closed or indeed whether further applications will be accepted.
“I have therefore written to the Finance Secretary seeking details on these points and an assurance that support will be made available to those who need it.
“To date, Kate Forbes has shown a willingness to respond to evidence of where further support is needed. In this instance, having had to close the scheme only hours after it opened, Ms Forbes should have all the evidence she needs.