16th April 2020

THE range of businesses that will be financially supported during the Coronavirus pandemic has been extended.

Last month, the Government set up two funds – a £10,000 grant for business with rateable value up to £18,000 and a one-off grant of £25,000 to retail, leisure or hospitality industry with a rateable value between £18,001 and £50,999 –  to mitigate for loss of earnings during the current situation.

These applications are being administered by North Ayrshire Council and hundreds of local businesses have already received funding.

The scope of that support is now being widened.

Changes include:

  • Extend eligibility for the £10,000 Small Business Grant to ratepayers with multiple properties with individual rateable values under £18,000 but whose cumulative rateable value is between £35,000 and £51,000.
  • Allow small sports clubs that are eligible for the Small Business Bonus Scheme but in receipt of discretionary sports relief to be eligible for the £10,000 Grant Scheme
  • Allow small properties in Enterprise Areas that are eligible for the Small Business Bonus Scheme but in receipt of Enterprise Areas relief to be eligible for the £10,000 Grant Scheme.
  • Arms’ Length External Organisations will also be made eligible for the Grant Funding Scheme

Public bodies remain excluded from the process.

Further support to businesses will include a second phase of the Small Business Grant Scheme that will be open to applications from Tuesday, 5 May (see Scottish Government news release 15th April).

This is specifically aimed at businesses with more than one property. They are currently eligible for a single grant under the new scheme will be able to apply for grants for all of their properties. This will make available Small Business Grants of £7,500 and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants of £18,750 (ie, 75% of the current grants) on any additional qualifying properties that a ratepayer may have.

Additional funding is also being made available to protect self-employed people and viable micro and SME businesses in distress due to COVID. 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 Government or UK Government schemes. This is likely to be in place at the end of the month.