Alyn Smith MEP and Michael Russell MSP have highlighted a new £40 million deal to support local businesses, courtesy of the European Investment Fund and credit facility iwoca.

The guarantee scheme will allow iwoca to lend to small businesses, backed financially by the European Commission. A small business can apply for funding under the programme at, where the risk-platform automatically analyses thousands of data points for each application, meaning local businesses can be approved for up to £100,000 within a few hours.

Alyn said:

“This could be a considerable boon for those Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs who need rapid access to finance to grow their business.

“At a time when credit can be hard to come by and cash flow remains the single biggest problem facing business, this scheme might not be for everyone but it has its place, and businesses in Argyll and Bute should certainly be aware of it”

Michael Russell added:

“This scheme could be of great benefit to small businesses under pressure in Argyll and Bute and I hope that all small business owners will consider utilising it, if they could benefit.

“ I am glad to help Alyn raise awareness of what is available throughout the constituency not least because the scheme illustrates the benefits of being part of a Europe which wants every area to flourish.”

Commenting on the Parliamentary Answer which he received today which confirms that the MV Coruisk will be used on the Dunoon/Gourock run this winter to supplement the service, as it was last year, Argyll & Bute MSP Michael Russell said:

“I am very pleased that after representations from myself as the local MSP and from the Dunoon Ferry Action Group the Minister has decided to deploy the Coruisk again. This will be particularly welcome given the exceptionally poor weather of recent days and confirms the Scottish Governments on-going support for local travellers who also have a regular and reliable commercial vehicle service operating as well.” 

Welcoming the news that the Campbeltown to Ardrossan pilot ferry service which has operated for the last 3 years in the summer is to be made permanent, SNP Argyll and Bute constituency MSP Michael Russell said:

“I am delighted that Derek Mackay has announced such an excellent Christmas present for the people of Kintyre. This was, when launched in 2013, the first new Scottish ferry route in more than two decades and its success has led to the very welcome decision today, to make it permanent.”

“The enthusiasm of the Campbeltown community and the hard work of local representatives, especially Councillor John Armour and Councillor Anne Horn, have made all the difference. I am sure the community will now want to discuss with Transport Scotland the details of future timetables in order that the service maximises the visitor potential for Kintyre”

Argyll and Bute SNP MP Brendan O’Hara adds:

“I’m absolutely delighted that the Scottish Government have delivered this much needed ferry service to Campbeltown. It really is great news and this new regular scheduled ferry service will be a major economic boost in supporting existing businesses, encouraging new enterprises and in bringing even more visitors to the Mull of Kintyre.
My congratulations must go to the Campbeltown Ferry Group for the way they presented their case to the government and to the whole community for the way they have supported this campaign.”

Councillor for South Kintyre, John Armour concluded:

“This a great and welcome Christmas present for the people of Kintyre. I will work with others in the area to market this service. I’d like to pay tribute to the Scottish Government for going ahead with this service which would not have gotten off the ground without the work of ex councillor John Semple, for that I thank him and Mike Russell MSP for their support.”