Digital development loans to Scots SMEs break £1m

Small businesses in Scotland have been awarded a combined £1 million in government digital improvement loans since June.

From left: Stuart Yuill, director at DSL; Andrew Kinsler, operations director at SMS; digital economy minister Kate Forbes; and Liz McCutcheon, Project Manager at LESL. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

More than 20 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have received a share of the sum, taken from the £2m Scottish Government Digital Development Loan fund.

The investment is part of a £36m government initiative to help SMEs boost their digital capabilities and upskill staff.

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The latest company to receive funding, and whose award breaks the seven-figure milestone, is Sand Monitoring Services (SMS), an Aberdeen-based firm that provides sensory data analysis and visualisation for the global oil and gas sector in the UK and overseas.

SMS will use the loan to develop its data visualisation product, improve research and development tools and drive international activity.

Other sectors to benefit from the fund, managed by Lanarkshire Enterprise Services (LESL) and supported by DSL Business Finance, include agriculture and fisheries, food and drink, manufacturing, energy and renewables and the creative industries.

Liz McCutcheon, project manager at LESL, said the initiative is “strengthening the ability of Scotland’s SMEs to innovate and compete digitally”.

The fund offers companies zero per cent interest rate loans of up to £50,000.