BUSINESSES who have been affected by coronavirus can now apply for an emergency loan of up to £30,000 from Inverclyde Council.

Councillors have approved a new scheme for local firms unable to access the government support packages that are already in place.

The council already provides grants of up to £10,000 and loans of up to £5,000 to help struggling businesses, as well as several other financial assistance schemes.

It has now been agreed that loans of up to £30k will be made available for firms that meet eligibility criteria.

They will repaid over two years.

The council says it's utilising '£200k of funds ring-fenced with an external provider for loan purposes to ensure no strain on council budgets'.

Council leader Stephen McCabe said: “As a council, we’re doing all we can to support businesses and the Inverclyde economy to recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our business support and development teams remain on hand to help businesses, those who are self-employed and third sector organisations access the vital help they so desperately need during these challenging times.”

Local businesses will be able to apply for the funding until the end of June next year via