Change will offer 100% grant on first property and 75% grant on all subsequent properties
THE Scottish Government has today (April 15) extended its Coronavirus Small Business Grant scheme to offer a 100% grant on a first premises and a 75% grant on “all subsequent properties”.
The change comes after the Scottish Government came under fire from hospitality operators and trade groups for limiting the grants to one per business, not one per property as in England, despite pledging to replicate the scheme north of the border when it was first announced by chancellor Rishi Sunak.
When the fund was launched last month, economy secretary Fiona Hyslop and tourism secretary Fergus Ewing both stated that the scheme – which offers two types of grant: a one-off £10,000 small business grant and a £25,000 grant for the retail, hospitality and leisure sector for rateable values between £18,001 and £50,999 – would offer grants to hospitality “properties”. However, earlier this month, finance secretary Kate Forbes stated the grants would be limited to one per business.
But the Scottish Government has today announced that it is extending the scheme, which is administered by local authorities, to a 100% grant on a first property and a 75% grant “on all subsequent properties”, saying the new arrangements will be in place for applications from May 5.
A further £100 million fund is also being made available to “newly self-employed people and businesses who are ineligible for other Scottish Government or UK Government schemes”; it will be open by the end of the month.
Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said: “Around 100,000 businesses in total are already eligible for our small business grants and from today we will be extending that scheme in response to feedback from businesses on the frontline of this economic crisis.
“The creation of a £100 million fund is to help those micro and SME businesses who face immediate cash flow challenges, are ineligible for other schemes and are the productive base for supporting employment in the future. It will also support those newly self-employed people who are also ineligible for UK schemes and will be a vital lifeline for many businesses and individuals across Scotland.
“Just as we ask the public only to buy what they need in the supermarkets, we are asking businesses who do not need this vital help to refrain from claiming additional support unless absolutely necessary so we can direct as much help as possible to those who need it most.”