Coronavirus: still ‘no support’ for many Scottish operators


MORE than 1500 Scottish pubs, bars and hotels are receiving “no support” from the Scottish Government during the coronavirus shutdown, according to the Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA).

In a letter to Scottish finance secretary Kate Forbes the association’s new president, Stephen Montgomery, argued that licensed businesses across Scotland with a rateable value above £51,000 are being “ignored” and “left helpless” by the current system of support from Holyrood.

Under the Scottish Government’s business support scheme, small businesses with a rateable value of up to £18,000 can apply for a grant of £10,000, with businesses with a rateable value between £18,001 and £51,000 able to apply for a grant of £25,000. Subsequent eligible properties can receive a further 75% of either grant – £7500 or £18,500 per property, respectively.

However, those with a rateable value above £51,000 are eligible for neither grant.

Montgomery said that, although a business has a rateable value above £51,000, it “does not mean to say they are big businesses, and nor does it mean in any way that they are more cash rich, less at risk, or not in need of help”.

“The fact is these businesses have paid into the system for many years and also need help now,” he wrote.

Montgomery called on Forbes to introduce further support for licensed businesses that are “currently ignored” by the system.

Montgomery said: “The SLTA is calling on you as cabinet secretary for finance, to come out and support those businesses who we represent that are over the £51,000 RV threshold, and show them that you have their interests at heart also, because at the moment, they have been shown no worth at all, left helpless, left isolated whilst they now stare into the abyss, many whom now face certain bankruptcy, and also their employees who could ultimately end up having to be supported by the welfare system.”