The Scottish Government today announced that coronavirus financial help will be expanded to include businesses that share properties, such as indoor markets, and for firms that aren’t on the rates system, such as some bed and breakfasts.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) – who led calls for this change – warmly welcomed the move, confirmed in a statement to the Scottish Parliament by Cabinet Secretary for the Economy Fiona Hyslop this afternoon. Additional details about the change to the grant funding will be released later this week.
Andrew McRae, FSB’s Scotland policy chair, said: “All over Scotland, many independent businesses have found themselves in the desperate position of being excluded from coronavirus financial support because of the type of property from which they operate. And many of these firms faced the same ongoing costs as those entitled to help.
“After FSB raised these issues, it looks like Ministers have recognised this injustice and have taken the right steps. While we need to understand the detail, they sound like savvy changes that could provide real support for many independent firms in their hour of need. However this help needs to be distributed quickly before these businesses run out of road.”
The Scottish Government also published new workplace guidance for the retail and manufacturing sector about the steps operators in these sectors will need to take before re-opening.
Andrew McRae said: “It is good to see the Scottish Government get this documentation out the door, not least because many firms want to begin to prepare to re-open. At every turn policymakers need to get practical, accessible guidance to firms at the earliest possible point.”
- FSB has been making the case to expand financial available: https://www.fsb.org.uk/resources-page/fsb-grants-figures-show-scope-to-expand-help.html
- In the statement today, the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture Fiona Hyslop said: “I can announce today that we will extend the eligibility of the current small business and retail, hospitality and leisure grant to businesses that occupy multiple premises with a cumulative value above £51,000 and also, to businesses occupying premises such as shared office spaces, business incubators and shared industrial units where the landlord is the ratepayer. “We are also working with local authorities to support small business who aren’t on the rates system and were not eligible for the Hardship Scheme solely because they did not have a business bank account. Further detail on these arrangements will be set out later this week.”
As experts in business, FSB offers members a wide range of vital business services, including advice, financial expertise, support and a powerful voice in Government. Its aim is to help smaller businesses achieve their ambitions.
External Affairs Manager, Scotland
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