A hospitality giant has claimed Scottish businesses are suffering because of a "postcode lottery" of support leading to "alarm and mass confusion."

The Scottish Hospitality Group (SHG), made up of Scotland’s leading bar and restaurant operators, is calling for urgent clarity from the Scottish Government on current financial support.

According to spokesperson for the group Stephen Montgomery, the current funding offer is "nowhere near enough" amid calls for grants to be fit for purpose.

Mr Montgomery has predicted next week will be "pivotable" for many businesses on redundancy decisions if further restrictions tighten.

READ MORE: Hundreds of top Scots hotels demand Covid rule change in letter to Nicola Sturgeon

He said: “Any financial support is welcome but what’s on the table is totally derisory for our sector. Currently we are being asked to stretch £40 million across 16,700 Scottish licensed businesses whereas Andy Burnham is pushing for £75 million for Greater Manchester that has just 1,912 premises.

"If the Scottish Government announces extended restrictions tomorrow, then the sector must be given adequate financial support.

“Not only is information conflicting, much of the support is inaccessible. It is absurd to believe that specific sectoral support should be based on a one size fits all approach.

“Some operators outside the central belt have been forced to close over the sixteen day period as they cannot trade viably under the current restrictions, therefore they are not eligible for full Scottish Government support or access to the new furlough scheme.

“We still have no detail on how the ‘furlough top up’ will be calculated, no clear guidance on what happens to our staff from the start of November when the current furlough ends, or how the new job support scheme will be administered.

“Despite constantly asking for more engagement, we are still only hearing about restrictions on the day which does not allow businesses to prepare appropriately.

"A stop start approach with no notice is unfairly penalising the industry and costing businesses on average £4,000 a week on top of other losses.”

SHG operators claim they have written off stock worth hundreds of thousands during the last lockdown and estimate similar losses if there are extended restrictions over the winter months.

Nic Wood, owner of the Signature Pub Group, who runs 21 bars and restaurants across Scotland, said: “It is not unreasonable to ask government to work with us on finding a solution to safeguard an industry that is the backbone of Scotland’s economic prosperity.

"Currently we do not feel they are listening to businesses and as a result have a lot to learn as to how our sector works.

READ MORE: Scottish Government pledges more than £10m to cover free school meals during holidays

"Our business alone has been forced to reduce headcount by 30 percent, and until they start to engage with us, thousands of Scottish jobs hang in the balance.

“Scotland's bars and restaurants have demonstrated again and again that they are willing to work with government and are doing absolutely everything asked of them to help combat the spread of coronavirus.

"Responsibly run bars and restaurants should be regarded as a vital part of the solution, as recent evidence shows that people will socialise at home or other venues that have no social distancing.”

Mr Montgomery added: “We know that we are in this for the long-haul.

"We are now calling for a more strategic long-term approach from the Scottish Government as to how they intend to work with industries to safeguard Scotland’s jobs and businesses.

"Not just for the hospitality sector but the thousands of suppliers that will impacted if our industry fails.”

The Scottish Government has said there has been an unprecedented package of support from both the Scottish and UK Governments to support businesses - which aims to help many employers preserve their business, maintain jobs and pay their workers throughout the coronavirus crisis.