Local businesses say they are increasingly anxious about council delays in processing crisis support grants.
Ken Main is commercial director at Ellen Conlin Hair & Beauty on Hyndland Road and a member of the Visit Hyndland traders’ group.
He says he and other businesses need money soon to pay bills and keep businesses afloat until restrictions are lifted.
He submitted the salon’s application to Glasgow City Council for £25,000 support on March 25. Businesses are eligible for grants of £10,000 or £25,000 depending on their rateable value.
He has had only one automatic reply to say the application was received but no indication since to say whether it is being processed and when it will pay out.
The Scottish government is stumping up millions of pounds to help businesses hit by lockdown.
Its business support grant is being administered by local authorities.
Ken told Glasgow West End Today: “All I’ve had is an automatic reply saying I would be contacted within three days – and that was nearly a month ago.
“The council have already had the money, as far as I know, from the government.
“I know of only one business in this area which has received any money so far.
“We are due £25,000 and there are three or four big shops nearby who are due that as well.
“My worry is that council staff are working from home and they can’t cope with the volume of work.
“There must be a good few businesses in Glasgow that are eligible for this.”
The hair and beauty salon, which has furloughed its 15 staff, closed to customers on March 21.
Ken is confident the application was complete and included all necessary details.
Local authorities have warned of delays if submissions do not include all the paperwork needed.
Ken said: “I put in extra stuff – I put in the extract from the assessors as well to prove our rateable value.
“I sent the bank statement and the application form.
‘I know of only one business in this area which has received any money so far.
‘We are due £25,000 and there are three or four big shops nearby who are due that as well’
“The only thing is because it’s an electronic application form you can’t actually sign it – you just have to type your name.
“I have been emailing them every second or third day to say can you respond, is there anything else you need?
“And there has been no communication at all.”
Ken said: “I feel that the government has been very generous in its support for businesses.
“We have the VAT delay, the rates help and the business support grant.
“But it’s the council who are causing a delay for whatever reason.
“We currently need about £5,000 a month just to keep the business going – and that’s without customers.”
Ken is confident the economy will bounce back once the restrictions begin to ease.
But he is prepared that staff may have to adopt new measures to ensure the safety of customers.
“I think the Press have been scaremongering.
“I don’t think the economic impact will be as bad as they say.
“For hairdressing it will be like Christmas Day for about two months.
“But we’ve got to make financial plans for the next three months.
“I’ve got to know whether I need to go out and buy PPE for my business.
“We are a clean shop – but we may have to look at buying face masks and gloves.”
A council spokesman said: “Our Coronavirus Business Support Fund team has received around 15,500 applications to the fund, and has now allocated almost £30million to the city’s businesses.
“The team – which had already been expanded in recent weeks – will now grow further to process applications and allocate funding as quickly as possible.
“We understand the concern of businesses looking for support, and we will do everything we can to provide this support as soon as we can.”