Scottish Grocers Federation has strongly criticised key recommendations in the report from the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery.
The Group was established by the Scottish Government to provide independent expert advice on supporting the sectors and regions of Scotland’s economy to recover from the impact of Covid-19. It has been asked to deliver its recommendations by the end of June, in time to inform the Scottish Government’s approach to supporting Scotland’s economic recovery.
The report states that the government’s approach should include targeted use of rates relief to incentivise economic recovery but that this should be accompanied by greater use of conditionality – this could mean that to qualify for the small business bonus, retailers would have to pledge to pay the Scottish government’s living wage or invest in skills in training.
SGF Chief Executive Pete Cheema (pictured) said: “Retailers should not be forced into having to make pledges and guarantees in order to qualify for key rates reliefs such as the small business bonus. We are urging the Scottish government to disregard this recommendation and to ensure that the small business bonus remains available to every business which needs it. There should be no costs attached to this key source of business support.”
The small business bonus scheme is currently under review by the Scottish government.