We have updated the Chancellor announcement story in light of further clarity from Scottish Government. This is disappointing news for all of us.
The Chancellor has made a funding announcement today stating that businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors are to receive a one-off grant worth up to £9,000. The Chancellor also said a further £594 million is being made available for Local Authorities and the Devolved Administrations to support other businesses not eligible for the grants, that might be affected by the restrictions.
The Scottish Government Finance Secretary, Kate Forbes, has responded to today’s announcement by the UK Government on business support:
We are both surprised and disappointed that the UK Government’s announcement of additional funding for businesses in England will not – despite the initial indications – generate further new funding for the Scottish Government or other devolved administrations.
This is a blow to Scottish businesses, whose expectations had been raised by the announcement, and I will be writing to the Chancellor to raise the issue.
We fully understand that while the tight new restrictions now in force are necessary to slow spread of the virus, they represent another blow for businesses. That is why we have allocated £570 million since October to helping businesses, and this sum of funding will rise due to the number of new businesses eligible for support under the latest lockdown restrictions.
Our priority is to ensure that assistance reaches those most in need as quickly as possible. In recent weeks we have announced an extra £185 million of sectoral support, including one-off grants for hospitality businesses, an additional £41 million top up support for non-essential retail and gyms and a £30 million local authority discretionary fund.