Ash Denham MSP has praised Scotland’s Finance Secretary for providing additional support to businesses in the capital.

On Wednesday last week, Kate Forbes MSP announced that around £220m of further grants would be made available for businesses, including the recently self-employed, to deal with the economic impact caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

It will see a £100m fund established to protect self-employed people and viable micro and SME (small or medium-sized enterprise) businesses in distress due to COVID-19, with money targeted at newly self-employed people and businesses ineligible for other Scottish Government or UK Government schemes.

The remaining £120m of this new phase of funding will extend the Small Business Grant scheme to ensure that small business rate payers, in addition to a 100% grant on the first property, will be eligible to a 75% grant on all subsequent properties.

Speaking following the announcement, Ms. Denham said:

“This is extremely welcome news for Scotland’s economy, particularly Edinburgh which is home to a large proportion of Scotland’s recently self-employed people and SME businesses, who are now potentially eligible for this funding.

“Following UK Government announcements, many small businesses in Scotland would have been distressed to learn that they were ineligible for help, but thanks to the Scottish Government those eligible can now be supported through this unprecedented situation.

“More than 90,000 Scottish ratepayers will be able to benefit from the one-off grants, and thanks to the Scottish Government, more businesses are eligible than they would have been under the UK Government’s scheme. In addition, only in Scotland have specific hardship schemes been set up for our fishing and creative arts industries, as well a free on business rates for every property and 100% relief for aviation.

“The measures announced also allow eligible small business rate payers with more than one property to claim a 75% grant on each of their subsequent properties in addition to 100% on their first property.

“With UK Government support not being available until June, the Scottish Government are going further to secure the future economic viability of Scottish forms and applications will be open by the end of the month.

“The Finance Secretary has taken unprecedented action to support as many businesses as possible during this extremely challenging time and I thank the Scottish Government on behalf of my constituents who will benefit from this funding.”


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