New cash grants for Scots businesses forced to close

Grants for £2000 or £3000 every four weeks would be available for firms forced to close due to Covid rules.

Businesses in Scotland which face lockdown restrictions will be able to apply for grants on top of those provided by the UK Government.

Grants for £2000 or £3000 every four weeks would be available for firms forced to close due to lockdown measures.

Those which can remain open but cannot trade as normal due to restrictions can apply for funding of £1400 or £2100 every four weeks.

The First Minister made the announcement as she outlined a new five-tier system at Friday’s coronavirus briefing. 

Nicola Sturgeon said: “Our objective is to get the virus to low levels again so we can live with as few restrictions as possible and allow businesses to operate as close to normal as possible. 

“But we have to be realistic, in a global pandemic some restrictions on business are likely to be necessary for a while to come.

“At times like now, these restrictions might require businesses to close or to limit trade significantly. We hope these periods will be short but it is essential that we support businesses through them.

“Therefore no matter what level we are at, the following support will be available and let me stress this is over and above the support available from the UK-wide job support scheme – which we think should go further. 

“Businesses which are required by law to close will be eligible for grants of either £2000 or £3000, depending on rateable value, for every four weeks that they have to remain closed.

“And businesses which can remain open but can’t trade normally due to restrictions will be eligible for £1400 or £2100 every four weeks that restrictions limiting their trade are in place.”

However the FM warned the money will run out and called for a “resolution” from the UK Government.

She added: “The chancellor’s commitment for England was open-ended, he will pay whatever the demand for business is, for as long as necessary. He is able to do that because he can borrow the money to pay for it.

“The Scottish Government can’t do that so we have to rely on the chancellor to provide the same funding guarantees to Scottish businesses as he already has for England. 

“So far, that hasn’t been done. Not a single penny of extra funding beyond that already allocated has been guaranteed for Scotland as a result of yesterday’s announcement. 

“While I am not prepared to offer Scottish businesses less funding than their counterparts in England will get, I have to be clear on this point.

“Without a resolution to the problem I have just highlighted, the money the Scottish Government has to pay for these grants will eventually run out.

“When exactly that will happen will of course depend on demand – but it will happen. 

“It is not possible to fund indefinitely with no powers to borrow. 

“That is why we need a resolution and the Scottish Government will be pressing for that resolution as quickly as possible.”

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