Helensburgh’s MSP has urged governments to provide as much help as they can for the area’s beleaguered tourism businesses.

Ms Baillie said she was worried that the industry in Helensburgh, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs might not survive without help to see them through until the start of next year’s visitor season.

Ms Baillie said: “Local businesses in Loch Lomond and the surrounding area have been particularly badly hit in the last few months and they understand that this difficult period for them is far from over.

“Many are planning on the basis that they will not be able to recover until the new season begins in March 2021.

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“It is vital that the Scottish and UK Governments provide support specifically tailored to the needs of those within the tourism industry.

“Urgent action is required in order to save jobs and protect businesses that play such a big and positive role within both our local and national economies.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We have acted as quickly as we can to address the significant financial challenges faced by the tourism sector through a tailored, comprehensive package of support including the £30 million Creative, Tourism and Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund and the £120 million Pivotal Enterprises fund, on top of 100 per cent rates relief for the year.

“We continue to do all we can to support the industry, and last week we announced a provisional date for reopening of tourism and hospitality of July 15, in order to give as much of the shortened season as possible.

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"We have developed guidance on safe reopening with industry bodies and unions, and will publish it later this week.

“However it is clear that the major challenges faced by the industry will continue into next year which is why the Scottish Government has urged the UK Government to do more to support individuals and businesses affected, through measures including a review of VAT rates and extensions to schemes such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

“Tourism is one of Scotland’s greatest assets and it is vital the UK Government does not leave the industry behind.”

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A Treasury spokesperson said: “We have provided a generous and wide-ranging package of support for businesses. Our job retention scheme has helped a million employers and protected more than nine million jobs across the UK.

“We have extended it until October – meaning it will have been open for eight months and will continue to support businesses as the economy reopens and people return to work.

“As well as furloughing staff, we’ve introduced a wide range of other targeted support measures for different sectors, including bounce back loans and tax deferrals, business rates holidays and more than £10 billion of grants to businesses.”

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