Funding boost will help extend support to businesses

Living Lerwick has received a significant funding boost to support businesses impacted by the coronavirus lockdown.

The town centre management body has received £10,000 from a national Business Improvement District resilience fund.

Another £4,000 has come from the council’s economic development department.

Two thousand pounds is also being taken from the organisation’s own business support funds.

Living Lerwick says the funding will be used to provide staff resources and fund administration costs.

Businesses are being invited to take part in an initial 20-30 minute survey of current operations, and discuss resilience issues.

It is hoped the move will help to build up a picture of business health and identify support gaps.

Initial conversations will also provide information about goods and services that businesses are offering and how the public can safely access them.

Anyone signing up to the support scheme will receive regular information updates and signposting to funding applications and other business support services.

The support service provided so far to Living Lerwick members will also be made available for any isles-based business.

The development of a ‘virtual’ High Street should allow consumers to find details, links,
contact information and images of products and services available, in a bid to encourage people to “think local first”.

Project Manager Emma Miller said: “I’d like to be clear that this project does not replace the excellent work being done
by Business Gateway who are administering grant funding and can give specific operational advice.

“This is a project to assess the future of business health in Shetland by offering a listening ear, a chance to discuss possible diversification of your business and a platform to promote services.”


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