Stewart congratulates business on its award for innovation and excellence

Tony Lister has thanked MSP David Stewart for his “lifeline”support.

Inverness-based estate agency Remax Elite was given national recognition through the Corporate Livewire Awards.

Judges on the platform which provides business professionals with latest news and developments chose Tony Lister’s firm as clear winner in the Estate Agency Small Business of the Year for Scotland category.

And now, Highlands & Islands regional MSP David Stewart has praised the firm for its win. It comes after Mr Stewart successfully appealed on Mr Lister’s behalf for Covid-19 grant funding of £10,000.

Mr Stewart said: “I am delighted to see a small company like Remax Elite recognised for its innovative work. Mr Lister deserves something positive after the difficult period he – and others in his field – have been going through. I know the firm puts innovation and excellence at the centre of everything it does. I congratulate Mr Lister on his success and wish him the best for the future.”

In April, Tony Lister turned to David Stewart after Highland Council said he did not qualify for a £10,000 government grant.

Due to an error when registering his business lease, Mr Lister’s firm was not eligible for a £10,000 handout from the coronavirus Small Business Support Grant Scheme.

The stressed-out businessman insisted an “honest mistake” had been made. But the council, which was administering the scheme for the government, said its hands were tied.

However, the decision was reversed when Mr Stewart put the merits of Mr Lister’s case to local authority chief executive Donna Manson and to Scottish Government ministers.

Mr Stewart, who is also helping businesses denied insurance interruption insurance pay-outs during covid-19, said: “It took two attempts to get this decision overturned in which time another constituent contacted me with the same problem. The council said modifications were made to the qualifying criteria for the small business grant scheme which meant both constituents could qualify. I understood the council was following government guidelines but no business should be penalised for admin errors, especially in the current climate.”

Mr Lister, who lives in Nairn, said: “I want to thank David for his kind words and more importantly for supporting us when we needed it and I feel the award underlines the efforts that he has gone to in order to help save the company.”