5th June 2020

The Caithness Business Fund is pleased to announce that, thanks to a generous contribution of £100,000 from Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL), it will be running a series of application rounds designed to support local businesses in their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

This support will be provided in the form of grants ranging from £500 up to a maximum of £5,000, and will be made available initially to eligible businesses in Caithness and North Sutherland which require assistance towards costs incurred in reopening business premises as a result of COVID-19. The first funding round is open now and will close on Friday 12 June.

The application process has been designed to be simple and flexible to ensure that money can be distributed to businesses as quickly as possible. The Fund also remains open for applications via the usual process, and any businesses interested in accessing either funding stream are encouraged to make an initial expression of interest to the Fund on enquiries@caithnessbusinessfund.co.uk.

Trudy Morris, Chief Executive of Caithness Chamber of Commerce, which manages the Fund, said:

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on businesses in Caithness, and while the support from both UK and Scottish Governments has been welcome, it is clear that many businesses are now facing additional challenges as lockdown restrictions ease and we move towards the reset and recovery of our economy.

We know that the local business community is keen to reopen as soon as possible, but only in a way which is compatible with ensuring the safety of their workforce and their customers. Many businesses are facing significant costs as they look to adapt their premises to meet public health and social distancing requirements.

This generous support from Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd will enable the Fund to quickly support these businesses as they look to rebuild and recover in the coming months.”

Mark Rouse, Managing Director of DSRL, said:

We were in a unique position to help essential businesses during the lockdown because we maintained a state of operational readiness that could be deployed to support of the community.

As we move into phase 1, and our own focus moves onto how we can safely restart the work of decommissioning the site, we wanted to continue being able to help other businesses as they come out of hibernation.

A resilient local economy is really important to us – both today, because it helps us retain and recruit the specialist skills and services we need, and in the future, because we want the site to leave behind a legacy of social and economic wellbeing when the decommissioning is complete.”

As well as the additional funding available, Caithness Chamber of Commerce is also opening up its DSRL funded business support programme to any business in Caithness which needs advice and guidance as lockdown measures ease, and businesses are invited to contact the Chamber on info@caithnesschamber.com to find out more about the support on offer.

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E: info@caithnesschamber.com
T: 01847 890076