Coronavirus: Trade groups’ concern over grant “restrictions”


TRADE groups including the Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA), Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA), UK Hospitality and the Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) have written to finance secretary Kate Forbes to express concerns over what they describe as “restrictions” on the government’s business relief grants.

The Scottish Government last week announced grants of £25,000 for businesses with a rateable value of between £18,001 and £50,999 and £10,000 grants for businesses with a rateable value up to £18,000.

Applications for the grants opened on March 24, but the trade groups have written to the Scottish Government to seek clarification after several of their members complained of complications.

The uncertainty stems from whether the grants are per ‘company’ or per ‘property’, with applicants that operate several premises being unable to secure a grant for each.

In a joint letter the groups said that this directly contradicts wording from the Scottish Government when the grants were announced.

“Firms are telling us that when completing the applications the reality is that it is one grant per firm/company, rather than one grant for each property that a firm has,” said the trade groups.

“Many of these firms, who sustain hundreds of jobs in communities right across Scotland, have already taken decisions in light of the 18 March announcement and support package in order to combat the immense cash flow challenges that they face.

“Given this, we would be most grateful for early clarity on the situation so that we can advise these businesses and our wider membership.”