The Scottish Government has released around £220m to fund further grants to help businesses – including the recently self-employed – deal with the ongoing impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
The new package of measures includes £120m to extend the Small Business Grant scheme to ensure that, in addition to a 100% grant on a first property, small business rate payers are eligible to a 75% grant on all subsequent properties.
A further £100m is available to protect self-employed people and viable micro and SME businesses in distress due to Covid-19. This fund will be channelled through local authorities and enterprise agencies to target newly self-employed people and businesses who are ineligible for other Scottish or UK government schemes.
Applications for the £100m fund will be open by the end of the month, and the new arrangements for the Small Business Grant will be in place to receive applications on 5 May.
Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said: “We are doing everything we can to support business at this difficult time and we continue to listen to and engage with the sector.”
Forbes urged businesses to take a good look at their finances before applying for a grant: “While many businesses are in difficulty, some are doing better than others or can pull through from their own resources.
“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.”