Scottish Government Earmarks £185m for COVID Stricken Businesses

Businesses across Scotland are set to benefit from a new £185 million package of targeted coronavirus (COVID-19) support.

The country’s Finance Secretary, Kate Forbes, made the announcement following discussions with business groups. The package is expected to benefit a range of sectors, from taxi drivers and arts venues to travel agents and hospitality.

Additionally, there will be extra one-off payments made to hospitality businesses in January to help them deal with the traditional post-Christmas drop in demand. The payments will be £2,000 or £3,000, depending on rateable value.

The specific support includes:

£5 million for the wedding sector and its supply chain, including photographers.

One-off grants totalling £15 million for mobile close contact services, such as hairdressers.

A £19 million fund and one-off grants for taxi drivers.

£5 million for travel agents.

Almost £6 million for coach companies and tour operators.

£1.5 million for visitor attractions.

Kate Forbes said:

‘We are developing grant schemes for hospitality, for the events sector, live music and cultural venues, for the arts, indoor football centres and for the food and drink sector, including £1.8 million for brewers.

‘We will give £1.5 million to travelling show people ineligible for other support, while a new £19 million fund, plus a one-off grant, will help taxi drivers.

‘I can also announce that further support of £60 million will be provided to the tourism sector, details of which will be developed in consultation with the industry.

‘I am listening to the needs of business and we will continue to review and refine our COVID-19 support offer within the available resources.’

More details on the support package will be announced imminently and businesses can expect to apply for all the new grant schemes in January 2021.

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