New top-up grants to be given to Scottish retail

The one off fund has been deemed a ‘financial lifeline’ for businesses in the sector

Eligible Scottish retail firms that have been impacted by tier four restrictions are set to receive a one-off top-up grant from the Scottish government.

A “financial lifeline” of £9,000 will be provided to businesses in the industry with a rateable value of over £50,001, while £6,000 will be given to firms with a rateable value of under £50,000.

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The Scottish government ensured that businesses across the sector who have already applied for the four-weekly payment from the Strategic Framework Business Fund (SFBF) would receive an automatic top-up alongside the next tranche payment on 25 January.

Kate Forbes, finance secretary, said: “As promised, this additional support for hospitality, retail and leisure businesses will be available this month, in some cases doubling or tripling the amount of support we are providing.

“Applications are open now and payment will be made this month. I’d encourage all eligible businesses to apply through their local authority if they have not done so already.”

The grant has been introduced alongside a hospitality top-up of up to £25,000, as the Scottish Government’s total support nears £3bn.

Reacting to the funds, David Lonsdale, director at the Scottish retail consortium, said: “Shops and high streets across Scotland have been left reeling by coronavirus. 

“These enhanced cash grants for retail business are a financial lifeline which will help non-essential stores through the current phase of being unable to open and trade.

He added: “There isn’t a taxpayer-funded support scheme which can replace the potential losses of store closures, so it is very encouraging that the finance secretary has listened and responded positively.”

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