THERE has been a stoicism across business amid the need to respond appropriately in the face of the world’s worst pandemic for 100 years.

In March, almost overnight, the country went into lockdown and firms of all shapes and sizes either closed their doors completely, moved to reduced operations, sought a paradigm shift of production methods or changed what they manufacture altogether.

Incomes were decimated if not wiped out. Many businesses remain closed, others will never reopen.

Business has been balanced in its arguments to reopen, remaining mindful of the health implications and points to numbers of cases of coronavirus in Scotland.

However, calls are now echoing across sectors for greater clarity on the support that will be brought out to help stop firms going under before help arrives.

Business representatives are identifying details such as how individual firms affected by micro-outbreaks or those under a local lockdown can access back-up and are concerned about the level of detail being set out to them.

There has been careful and detailed general scrutiny of how the two governments north and south of the border have reacted to the virus and moved to eradicate its spectre through engagement with newspapers and television news organisations.

Westminster and Holyrood responded with rescue packages including furlough and grant cash, but, for many, to still be unable to create the meaningful revenue they need that will help bring back as many workers as possible over the coming weeks and months is a major economic anomaly and a seemingly impossible divide to bridge.

As we are moving towards a stage where companies could begin to start to plan for their future, the voices resound louder.

Business representatives are under no illusion about the immensity of the pandemic and temper every point with an outline of the need for safety.

However, while it is argued that in the early days of the pandemic an information overload may have been unbeneficial and other than concerns over not moving soon enough it has largely been handled well in Scotland, there is a rising unease over the level of detail of the short to medium-term road out of coronavirus as well as the bottom line.

Some claim this could harm confidence and slow the as yet undefined recovery.

The Scottish Government could detail “what is genuinely safe and therefore should be encouraged” to help boost the economy, says Stuart Patrick, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce chief executive.

“We are possibly in Scotland a little bit too reluctant to press that kind of message button for the Scottish economy and I hope that will change over the next three or four weeks,” he adds.

In one of the worst hit sectors, the licensed trade, Donald MacLeod, whose company Hold Fast Entertainment owns The Garage and The Cathouse in Glasgow, has called for pilot schemes for limited capacity gatherings within the hospitality industry.

He also wants a finer focus on the details of the next steps for business at the Scottish briefings, saying “let’s see people up there [at the daily Holyrood updates] who are qualified to be talking business, and recovery and jobs and investment”.

“I would like to see the plan.”

Sir Tom Hunter, entrepreneur, philanthropist and Scotland’s first billionaire, has been critical about the Edinburgh administration’s recovery blueprint, and he said “if there was ever a time for the Scottish Government to acknowledge their lack of business experience in the civil service, their agencies and in Cabinet it is now”.

Sir Tom also said this move would be “not as an admission of guilt but a recognition of what you do best and we do best”.

Fellow billionaire Jim McColl, of Clyde Blowers Capital and a member of the Council of Economic Advisers in Scotland, which helps steer the SNP government, called for more input into Holyrood from the private sector as he told an interviewer that, without help, “we could lose half our small and medium-sized enterprises”.

Elsewhere, fintech pioneer David Brown of Toupay and David Costa of NTT Data UK have proposed a funding scheme to extend existing state-backed guarantees to allow a separate “credit rating” for firms going forward which could help solve cashflow problems and be paid back in a scheme that could be similar to student loans.

At Tuesday’s briefing, Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister, said hospitality venues could be closed down if “slipping standards” on Covid-19 measures lead to outbreaks of the virus.

It was announced a further four positive cases in Scotland, bringing the total to 18,558. No deaths had been recorded in those last 24 hours, which meant the total number of fatalities was 2,491. The First Minister also warned of the “worrying resurgence” of Covid cases globally.

The Scottish Government is likely to adopt a “cautious approach” to easing lockdown when the scheduled review comes on Thursday.

It also said: “We are clear that, as the virus continues to pose real risks, we need to balance public health concerns with restarting the economy and the need to progress towards a safe and strong recovery.”

Professor Graeme Roy, head of economics and director of the Fraser of Allander Institute at the University of Strathclyde, and formerly government senior economic adviser and head of the First Minister’s Policy Unit, says: “In some ways it is a bit unfair to criticise civil servants or policymakers and I think some phrases are they don’t understand the economy.

“If you have a position which is that you think the economy should be started up earlier or we should ease restrictions and government don’t agree with it, it is not necessarily not understanding, maybe they’ve just taken a different decision from you.” The professor, who re-joined Strathclyde in 2016 after over eight years at the Scottish Government, adds: “I think where you could say expertise is important is potentially in particular issues in sectors or particular issues in aspects of recapitalisation where private sector insight is potentially really valuable, but I do think civil servants and policymakers will go for that help and get that help if they need it. They have got to balance choices and it may be they are just prioritising other choices and again they can be held to account for that if they are wrong.”