Stirling Council has been thanked for successfully supporting a range of small businesses across Stirling in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The local authority secured and distributed £7,500 for local traders through funding from Scotland’s Towns Partnership’s Towns and Business Improvement Districts’ Resilience and Recovery Fund, with each business receiving £200.

Targeting small businesses in town centres and high streets, successful applicants included cafes, bakeries, convenience stores, pubs, beauty salons and barber shops.

The £200 fee has provided a vital lifeline to bolster small and micro businesses’ funding towards essential PPE needed to operate safely and welcome customers back into their premises.

Vital support

Convenor of Stirling Council’s Finance and Economy Committee, Councillor Margaret Brisley said: “The funding through Scotland’s Towns Partnership and the Scottish Government was awarded to Stirling Council directly allowing local knowledge to direct the flow of support to businesses where it was most needed.

“This vital support to small businesses in town centres and high streets across the Stirling Council area has provided a much needed financial boost that helps offset some of their challenges during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”

One local hairdresser who received the fund said: “It’s a small salon and I’m not going to lie, we have struggled during the pandemic. I’m hanging in there and getting any kind of assistance helps me to help my staff.”

Financial sustainability

Vice convener, Cllr Alison Laurie, added: “It may not seem much on the surface, but any extra funding to small independent business can go a long way to securing their financial sustainability.

“I’m delighted to see we’ve been able to help so many local firms.”

Positive impact

Scotland's Towns Partnership Chief Officer Phil Prentice said: "We're delighted to have been able to provide this support with funding from the Scottish Government - and it's fantastic to hear the positive impact it has had on businesses in Stirling.

"Local businesses have done so much to provide safe spaces for us during the pandemic. It's vital that we continue to show our appreciation for all that they are doing by thinking local first and giving them our full support so that they can continue to be there for us."