An Aberdeen taxi boss has pleaded for government support for the sector after revealing his firm has been rejected from every round of funding since the pandemic began.
According to The Evening Express, Russell McLeod, the managing director of Aberdeen company Rainbow City Taxis, has applied for different schemes at various points since the first Covid-19-enforced shutdown at the end of March last year.
However, because the firm has been able to continue trading, the only impact on the business has been fewer customers.
Rainbow City has been knocked back every time it has applied for funding.
Individual drivers may be able to take advantage of grants of £1,500, and Russell has also made use of the furlough scheme. However, he fears the pandemic will end up taking a devastating toll on his firm.
He said: “We haven’t been eligible for any financial support. We’re not hospitality or retail and we haven’t had access to any extra funding.
“Everything that’s come out, we have looked at and found we don’t qualify for. We have written to the Scottish Government but have had no response.
“Things are dire just now and we are in real need of some support. We are really struggling.”
Russell added: “We got a three-month holiday on the payments for our cars at the start, but that was only in place between April and July last year.
“Every company like ours is in the same boat at the minute. It has been a real struggle.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “We understand that all businesses face significant difficulties during the pandemic and we are committed to providing continued assistance, within our limited resources.
“The Strategic Framework Business Fund provides monthly grants of up to £3,000 for businesses required by law to close and up to £2,100 for those that can remain open but are required by law to modify their operations.
“Our £30 million local authority discretionary fund is also empowering local authorities to direct funding to specific groups or sectors within their areas. Employment support to cover staff costs is provided via the UK Government’s furlough scheme.”