£1 billion Business Support Fund opens in Scotland


THE Scottish Government has opened its £1 billion business support fund to help companies impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Businesses can apply for one-off grants to help protect jobs, prevent closures and promote economic recovery.

More than 90,000 ratepayers across Scotland are said to be able to benefit from the support, which is in addition to separate tax relief measures.

The Scottish Government revealed small businesses in receipt of the small business bonus scheme or rural relief, as well as hospitality, leisure and retail business can benefit.

Two types of grant available to ratepayers are as follows:

• £10,000 grant to ratepayers of small businesses

• £25,000 available to retail, hospitality and leisure business ratepayers with a rateable value between £18,001 and £50,999.

Businesses that think they may be eligible for one of these grants are being advised to contact their local authority as councils are administering the scheme on behalf of the Scottish Government.

Cabinet Secretary for Finance Kate Forbes said, “While our primary concern is for people’s health, it is clear that the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak will have severe economic consequences, and we are treating it as an economic emergency. We are determined to help keep companies in business and support them and their staff during this difficult time.

“Local authorities are the most efficient way to deliver this and we have worked closely with them to deliver these measures – and eligible businesses can apply now. Local authorities will aim to make payments within 10 working days, and I’d like to thank them for their help in ensuring this support is delivered as quickly as possible.

“The COVID-19 situation, however, is both severe and fast-moving and requires a coordinated UK response: I will continue to work closely with the UK Government and the other devolved administrations.”