CITY centre businesses struggling due to Covid-19 restrictions will share just over £8m.

Glasgow councillors have agreed to use Scottish Government money on a top-up fund to help firms facing “unique challenges”.

Council leader Susan Aitken said a “significant proportion” of an extra £10.4m allocated to Glasgow would go to city centre businesses, which are suffering due to reduced footfall and “higher overhead costs than businesses locate elsewhere in the city”.

The council will also give out £2000 to firms which previously received money from the Covid-19 business hardship fund, a discretionary scheme set up to help those that fell through the cracks in government support.

And that hardship fund will be reopened to help some companies who are still falling through the gaps.

READ MORE: New £4.4m fund to help city firms who have fallen through cracks in Covid support

An extra £90m for councils was announced in February after an initial £30m discretionary fund was set up in November last year.

The Covid-19 business hardship fund, set up in February, used discretionary funding to help companies unable to access strategic funding.

Figures show 927 businesses have been supported, with more than £3.2m handed out, Ms Aitken told councillors. Any underspends from that fund, expected to be around £1m, will be added to the £10.4m.

The city centre top-up fund, aimed at the hospitality, leisure and service-based sectors, will be modelled on rateable value.

Businesses with a rateable value under £18,000 will get £3000, those between £18,000 and £51,000 will receive £6000 and over £51,000 will be given £10,000.

Firms will qualify if they are located within the city centre boundary and previously received money from the strategic or discretionary funds.

A council officer said using rateable value was “purely about speed and our ability to get payments out to businesses”.

The discretionary fund top-up payments – totalling around £2.1m – are expected to be available to just over 1000 eligible businesses. They do not need to reapply.

Around £800,000 has been allocated to phase two of the Covid business hardship fund as there “may be businesses who are still falling through the cracks of the various Scottish Government schemes”.

The fund was designed to pay out to companies which have not received any government money since restrictions were introduced in October.

It covers businesses in premises and on the non-domestic rates list as the eligible ratepayer, tenants and occupiers of premises operating a business who can provide a valid lease and self-employed and sole traders who do not qualify for any other schemes, who can demonstrate financial detriment in the last 12 months through audited accounts.

Applications from third sector organisations and social enterprises, who employ staff, will be considered.

There will be £9000 for businesses employing between 25 and 50 staff, £6000 for those with between 10 and 24 staff and £3000 for firms with nine staff or fewer.

Councillor Thomas Kerr said: “The support that has been announced is very, very good.

“It’s been a tough year for many businesses throughout the city and the idea of a Covid top-up fund for the city centre is extremely welcome.”

There was a rejection rate of 32% for the Covid-19 business hardship fund.

Ms Aitken said: “The main reason for that is applicants haven’t returned the supporting evidence that is required to process their application, including some fairly basic business information.”