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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-12170: Liam McArthur (Orkney Islands)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 24 October 2017

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the survey by the Federation of Small Businesses, which reported that 88% of 275 island firms said that they faced challenges that mainland businesses do not, what actions it will take to support such businesses.

Answered by: Humza Yousaf 9 November 2017

The Islands Bill and our commitment to a National Islands Plan will also set out the strategic direction for supporting island communities. The £6 million Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund across Scotland and £30 million Rural and Islands Fund to support affordable housing are other examples of the action taken by this government to support inclusive growth that will benefit Island based businesses.

The Scottish Government has invested over £1 billion in our ferry services since 2007 and we are committed to continuing the Air Discount Scheme at the current 50% discount rate to bring more affordable air fares to our remotest communities and businesses.

In addition to the existing business support available to all rural island businesses Scottish Government is investing millions of pounds over and above core local authority funding to ensure the needs of our island communities and businesses are enabled.