Businesses in the isles are still waiting to access vital business support from the Scottish government, according to Tory list MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston.
Following the publication of figures showing more than 25 per cent of grants to businesses in Shetland – higher than the national average – had still not been awarded, the Highlands and Islands member urged ministers to speed up payments.
Mr Halcro Johnston said the Scottish government continued to refuse to match business support elsewhere in the UK, leaving some local businesses receiving less support than counterparts south of the border.
He said: “I appreciate the pressures all governments are under, but far too many local businesses here in Shetland are still waiting for the support they need to survive.
“Small and medium-sized enterprises, which are the bedrock of the local economy, will be crucial in supporting our recovery from any economic downturn.
“It is so important that Scottish government ministers play their part in ensuring the right funding is available and that it gets to businesses in a timely manner; and time really is of the essence because cash-flow is so important.
“If significant numbers of businesses don’t get the right support at quickly, then their future, and the jobs they provide, could be at risk.
“Businesses here and across Scotland are already at a disadvantage due to the lower level of support offered by the Scottish government.
“At the very least, we need Scottish ministers to speed up delivery of these payments and give some respite to under-pressure local businesses.”