Covid-19 pandemic: challenges facing businesses.
Firstly, if I haven’t done so already, I would like to take the opportunity to introduce myself. Having been elected as the Member of Parliament for Stirling in December, I’ve had very little time to physically meet people before the world was turned upside down and we all went into lockdown.
Over the course of lockdown, Bruce Crawford MSP and I hosted a number of virtual surgeries with businesses across the area. It was important to listen to what people in different industries were saying, as the challenges presented to business varied. More recently, I’ve had the chance to get out and about and meet local businesses who are opening their doors again.
The initial business grants from the Scottish Government, administered by Stirling Council were a welcome relief for many businesses who had to close their doors at the beginning of the outbreak. I also welcomed the furlough scheme from the UK Government, which helped to keep people on the payroll when businesses weren’t operating. However, I am concerned at the lack of commitment to continuing such a scheme – even in a targeted way – as a safety net for businesses in the event that lockdown restrictions have to be reintroduced.
Alongside colleagues, I will continue to push the UK Government to take a more long term and strategic approach to business support during this difficult period.
You can stay up to date by singing up to my regular newsletter, Stirling Matters, via https://alynsmith.scot/newsletter/. You can read the latest edition of Stirling Matters https://alynsmith.scot/2020/08/07/parliamentary-newsletter-stirling-matters-august-2020-edition-6/. You can also keep up to date with what I’ve been up to in Parliament and in the Stirling constituency via my social media channels, on http://www.facebook.com/alynsmithsnp, http://www.twitter.com/alynsmith, and http://www.instagram.com/alynsmithmep.
Finally, if I haven’t yet done so already, I would welcome an opportunity to visit your business, to learn more about what you’re doing, and to understand what challenges you face or concerns you have. My contact details are at on the footer of this letter, and similarly, if you have an issue you’d like me to look into, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
With best wishes.
Alyn Smith MP
Member of the Westminster Parliament for Stirling Constituency
SNP Shadow Foreign Secretary