Council chiefs have urged businesses to apply for support grants during the coronavirus pandemic.

North Ayrshire Council are offering the vital support after it was made available at Holyrood amid the worsening crisis.

The Scottish Government has set up two funds that will provide support and mitigate for loss of earnings during the COVID-19 crisis.

A £10,000 grant to ratepayers of businesses in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme or Rural Relief is now accessible.

However, companies with a rateable value of up to £18,000 are eligible.

This is also available if they’ve applied for Nursery Relief or Disabled Relief but are eligible for the Small Business Bonus Scheme.

Meanwhile, retail, hospitality and leisure business ratepayers with a rateable value between £18,001 to £50,999 can apply for a one-off grant of £25,000.

The council are processing application forms on behalf of the Scottish Government and businesses should apply if they meet the criteria.

Councillor Alex Gallagher, Cabinet Member for Economy, said: “These are really uncertain times for local businesses and we would urge them to apply if they meet the criteria as set out. The grants will provide some cashflow and ease some of the early burden, particularly the most fragile businesses.

“The money will provide them with an element of security to allow business owners and employees to focus on staying and well.

“We would also ask local people to support local business right now. If you can use their services online that would be great or if you can’t do that support them with a nice review or complimentary message on social media.

“When we reach the other side of the coronavirus crisis it’s vital that our local businesses are there to kick-start our economy.”