We asked they listened...
Today the Scottish Government announced a further £120 million funding to extend the Small Business Grant scheme to ensure that, in addition to a 100% grant on the first property, small business rate payers will be eligible to a 75% grant on all subsequent properties.
The first Minister for Scotland confirmed in today’s briefing that this applies to both the Small Business and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Funds and more details can be found here.
This is a positive step for businesses with more than one property in Scotland who were initially limited to one grant per business. As for England the grant scheme is subject to the EU State Aid rules of E 800,000 per company.
We are awaiting formal clarification and will advise further in due course.
“The Government’s assessment is that, given the impact of Covid-19 in the sectors receiving the relief, the business rates expanded retail, leisure and hospitality discount 2020-21 is not a state aid.
At the time we were awaiting further updates regarding the position in Scotland and Wales.
“The UK Government has deemed the Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund to be State aid capped by this temporary framework. The Scottish Government therefore deems the Scottish Grant Funding Schemes to also fall under this regime.
However, following discussion with the European Commission, the UK Government does not consider its targeted Coronavirus rates reliefs to be a State aid. The same will apply in Scotland for the 100% retail, hospitality and leisure Coronavirus relief under regulation 4(1) of the Regulations: this will not be considered State aid (note the Coronavirus universal 1.6% relief is not being likely to be considered State aid as it applies to all properties”
This is positive news for businesses in Scotland who, along with those in England should now feel able to take the Chancellor at his word that no business which occupies properties that qualify for the relief will pay any business rates on those properties in 2020/21.