A petition has been launched in the hopes Eat Out To Help Out can be rescheduled in Aberdeen.
The petition was created by Khalis Miah of Riksha Streetside Indian Restaurant, in Union Square.
A UK Government funded scheme, it gives diners a discount of 50% up to the value of £10 per person if they eat out at participating restaurants on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays throughout August.
It has been designed to encourage residents to visit establishments and dine indoors to boost the hospitality sector after several months of closures.
However, further localised lockdown restrictions were imposed on Aberdeen last Wednesday, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon closing bars, restaurants and cafes.
As the Eat Out to Help Out scheme can only be used for people dining in premises, fears have been raised that city restaurants are missing out on the incentive.
So far, almost 100 signatures have been raised on the petition, which hopes to get the UK Government to alter the timescale.
Khalis Miah of Riksha Streetside Indian Restaurant, said: “The Eat Out To Help Out scheme proved to be a successful incentive for diners to come out for eating.
“Businesses in the hospitality sector in Aberdeen experienced a real boost of confidence after a prolonged period of no income.
“Even before completing the first week, Aberdeen has been forced back into lockdown.
“We are now left with an uncertain future. I request all business community, families and friends to get involved and support this petition which could save a lot of independent businesses.”
The petition has been backed by north-east MSP Lewis Macdonald.
He said: “Many people who run restaurants and cafes in the city are really distressed about going back into lockdown mode, through no fault of their own. They have done well to survive so far, and all they want is for Eat Out to Help Out to help them out too.
“I hope many of the customers who love Aberdeen’s great cafes and restaurants will back the petition, and that Ministers in both Holyrood and Westminster will lend a helping hand.”
He has also written to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak urging him to reschedule the scheme in Aberdeen to start after local lockdown restrictions are lifted.
Speaking in Parliament, Cabinet Secretary Jeane Freeman, said: “There are impacts I recognise on businesses in the city because of the decisions that have been taken and the restrictions that have been imposed. I know there has been additional financial support to Aberdeen as to elsewhere in Scotland but I know that the economy secretary is speaking with local business organisations in the city to see if there is more they will do and I’m very happy to ensure she is aware of that petition and can take a view on how she might want to proceed.”
To sign the petition, click here