The First Minister announced today that a range of new restrictions will be deployed in Scotland in the days following Christmas, including attendance limits at events and a return to physical distancing measures for hospitality and retail firms. In addition, new business support funding was outlined for businesses in Scotland.
Andrew McRae, FSB’s Scotland policy chair, said: “The measures outlined today will make trading drastically more difficult for huge numbers of small businesses in Scotland. The social distancing restrictions will mean shops and hospitality firms can serve fewer customers. And the changes to events, such as sports matches and Hogmanay celebrations, will have a knock-on impact on local economies.
“After a disappointing festive trading period, these moves will heap pressure on local firms and the self-employed. The same group of businesses that took the greatest hit earlier in the crisis now face another gruelling winter and spring. These operators now face tough decisions about whether they open their doors with restrictions in place or stop trading until they’re lifted.
“New grant funding, though welcome, must now quickly reach the wide variety of firms now taking a hit. We cannot see restrictions imposed in days, but cash support taking weeks or months to get through.”