A COUPLE who run a cleaning company are pleading with the Scottish Government for financial help so it can survive the Covid crisis.

Stuart and Donna Dornan say their Barrhead-based firm Dusting Donna is at risk of going under after they were told they aren’t eligible for support.

The company, which is two years old and employs eight further staff who all live in the Barrhead area, used to clean up to 70 homes per week, as well as commercial properties and nurseries.

However, it has lost 95% of its trade during lockdown restrictions.

The company now only cleans for vulnerable clients on Wednesdays and Thursdays and at an empty lawyer’s office three nights a week.

The situation has left the couple, who have two children, worried about the future, as cleaning businesses “are not categorised anywhere, so are not due any financial help.”

Stuart, 47, told the Barrhead News: “We’ve done all of the biohazard and infectious control training. We are out to suppress the virus and control it but are not allowed to work and we are not getting any financial support at all.

“Only two of our staff are eligible for furlough. We’ve applied for strategic funding but we have been refused twice.”

Donna, 43, added: “We have premises, insurance and three vehicles that still have to be paid.

“As a small business, there is only so long you can subsidise the cost. Our only other option is a ‘bounce back loan’ but we have to pay that back.”

The Neilston couple are members of the Domestic Cleaning Business Network (DCBN), which is lobbying for funding for cleaners across the country.

Kristina Foskett, DCBN director, said funding is not being allocated to her members, despite support being given to other workers such as mobile hairdressers who aren’t allowed into people’s homes.

In response to the couple’s plight, an East Renfrewshire Council spokeswoman said that, while it administers funds for local businesses, the levels of support and eligibility criteria are set by the Scottish Government.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government added: “We understand that all businesses face significant difficulties during the pandemic and we are committed to providing continued assistance, within our limited resources.

“The Strategic Framework Business Fund provides monthly grants of up to £3,000 for businesses required by law to close and up to £2,100 for those that can remain open but are required by law to modify their operations.

“Our £30million local authority discretionary fund is also empowering local authorities to direct funding to specific groups or sectors within their areas, including supply chain businesses.

“Employment support to cover staff costs is provided via the UK Government’s furlough scheme.”