Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron has written to the Scottish Government after being contacted by local businesses who risk ‘falling between the cracks’ and missing out on financial help.
 Mr Cameron, the Scottish Conservative Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance, said: “My region hosts many holiday businesses, such as bed and breakfasts, which are a mainstay of our economy and provide essential income for local people.
“Unfortunately, they are very vulnerable to the impact of the pandemic as they stand to lose an entire season’s income.
 “And, making things far worse, they may ‘fall between the cracks’ and miss out on business support from the Scottish Government.
 “I am hoping that ministers can provide reassurance and, if necessary,  intervene to put matters right.”
Earlier Donald, who is a Scottish Conservative MSP for the Highlands and Islands, and Kate Forbes, SNP constituency MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, both said it was of paramount importance that constituents remain at home, apart from carrying out essential work and duties, in order to slow down the spread of the virus.
Donald said: “The coronavirus pandemic transcends all other matters right now. We are making this appeal together because the difficult changes we're asking people to make are absolutely essential to help us slow down the spread of the virus.
“If somebody has symptoms of Covid-19, a persistent cough or a fever, they should isolate themselves for seven days – and anyone else in a household where someone has symptoms should isolate for 14 days.
“The first port of call for anyone looking for information is the NHS Inform website www.nhsinform.scot.
“The best way to support our NHS is to follow the rules and stay at home as much as possible. However, we know that many people are looking for other ways to help – and those wanting to volunteer should visit www.readyscotland.org.”
Kate Forbes, MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, added: “I am happy to join Donald Cameron in appealing to everybody to stay at home, and to employers to allow employees to work from home where that is possible. This isn’t a party political issue, it is about saving lives. This is an extremely difficult time for everybody involved. I know that there is a lot of anxiety, fear and worry just now.
“The rules are quite clear, stay at home and only leave for the reasons identified by the First Minister and Prime Minister. If you’re not sure – stay at home. If you don’t know if you’re classified as an essential worker – stay at home. If you’ve got any doubts at all about what is permissible or not – play it safe and stay at home.”
And Donald Cameron, has given his backing to calls from Scotland’s business organisations for greater clarity and consistency in the guidance being provided to them during the coronavirus crisis.  He said: “Business leaders in Scotland are concerned that the messages from the UK and Scottish Governments do not seem to be as aligned as they should be in some areas.
“Everyone understands that the Scottish Government response to the coronavirus emergency won’t be a mirror image of Westminster’s, but where the SNP does seek divergence, it should be able to set out exactly why that’s necessary.
“Businesses are clearly beginning to get worried about confusing and mixed messages – that will only harm Scotland’s economy even more.”
Thirteen Scottish business organisations including CBI Scotland, the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, and the Federation of Small Businesses, have issued a joint statement demanding urgent “cooperation, consistency of policy and clarity of message across all parts of the UK”.