Recovery from COVID-19 crisis must start now

Stirling SNP MSP Bruce Crawford has outlined what is needed to get Stirling’s economy back on track today (23 June), in a Holyrood debate on economic recovery following the Covid-19 crisis.

Mr Crawford, alongside Stirling’s Alyn Smith MP, has hosted a number of virtual surgeries in recent weeks with business leaders in the area as part of a listening exercise, determining what it is that particular businesses need to emerge from the potential economic hardship brought about by the pandemic.

In his speech to the Holyrood chamber, Mr Crawford mentiond the need for further funding support to local businesses, particularly those in the hospitality and tourism sector – a major industry in the Stirling area, many of whom have missed out on the crucial summer trade.

Commenting, Bruce Crawford said:

“Alyn Smith and I have listened to what businesses have to say, which is informing our discussions with government ministers and other authorities. This is going to be a very challenging period for a lot of businesses, and more than anything they want to know that the funding support that they need to keep their heads above water is going to be there.

“Hospitality businesses that benefit from seasonal trade have effectively missed out on a whole summer – this presents a serious challenge to them and it cannot be the case that they are left to fend for themselves. There is a clear understanding that more financial support is needed to see these businesses through to spring next year.

“This also applies to small businesses who may see a drop in the footfall of customers due to social distancing measures remaining in place in order to protect public health. Opening back up does not mean business as usual for many people.

“However, this means government borrowing and , currently, Scotland does not have the power to borrow under these circumstances. That is why I am pleased that Scottish Government ministers are continuing to lobby the UK Treasury to release the funds needed to protect our businesses.

“A large-scale and comprehensive support package is what’s needed for businesses, and small businesses in particular need the assurances that this support is coming sooner rather than later.”

You can watch the clip here: