Council officials in Aberdeen have received hundreds of applications for financial support from businesses in the space of a month.
In January, Aberdeen City Council’s discretionary fund opened to firms adversely affected by Covid-19 regulations.
Since the start of the scheme, the local authority has received more than 540 applications from companies facing severe financial challenges.
More than 140 of those applications have been approved so far, with funding amounting to £475,000 handed out.
Applications from some businesses have been temporarily held back until it is determined whether they are eligible for other coronavirus support funding.
Town House staff are continuing to work through the remaining applications.
Council co-leader and finance convener Douglas Lumsden said: “Over 540 applications have been received between January 25 and February 22 under the discretionary fund.
“Of these applications over 140 have been processed and approved with a value in excess of £475,000.
“All applications are being looked at by officers and some applications are being held back as no decision has been made to their application to the strategic framework fund.”
Mr Lumsden added: “I am delighted that the take up of the discretionary fund is being well received by sole traders, limited companies and partnerships within the city of Aberdeen.
“Our aim was to get this money out to those that qualified as quickly as possible and our officers are to be commended for achieving this goal despite the many challenges they face from Covid-19 and other works the council are involved in.”
In total Aberdeen City Council has around £1.3 million to issue as part of the discretionary fund.
The aim of the scheme – which saw local authorities each handed a lump sum by the Scottish Government – is to provide support to businesses that are facing short-term financial challenges as a result of Covid-19 restrictions.
It allows councils to direct funding to specific firms or sectors not covered in previous packages of funding announced by ministers.
Aberdeen Inspired chief executive Adrian Watson said: “Aberdeen Inspired very much welcomes the news that there has been a significant number of funding applications processed by Aberdeen City Council from local businesses seriously affected by the further restrictions that have, to date, received limited direct financial support from government.
“It is yet another example of the scale of the challenge to our city’s business community, and this fund will at least provide a lifeline to many who desperately want to get back trading as soon as it is considered safe to do so. However, the longer our businesses remain closed, the more government support will be required to allow many of these enterprises a fighting chance of reopening.”