One grant per business, rather than one grant per property, that’s the U-turn by Kate Forbes, Scotland’s Finance Minister that has the hospitality industry up in arms and trade bodies too.
She has, say the industry, “betrayed” Scottish tourism and hospitality businesses by sharing cash that came from Westminister, which was earmarked for the sector. Now grants worth £25,000, which should have been granted for each property that retail and hospitality businesses operate with a rateable value of between £18,000 and £52,000, will be shared with the creative, fishing and aviation industries. This is despite the Scottish Government initially saying it would be “replicating fully” the UK government’s scheme on 18th March a commitment which was confirmed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon the following week.
Since then Finance Minister Kate Forbes has done a U-turn. She said, “Because there are more businesses eligible for the £10,000 grant in Scotland due to the more generous Small Business Bonus Scheme, and recognising the other business support available to cover wages, we have taken the decision to limit the £10,000 and £25,000 grants to one per business.
“This has allowed us to offer support to other important sectors, including creative industries, aviation and fishing, which are not receiving support elsewhere in the UK.”
The move, which is seen as a real slap in the face for hospitality and tourism businesses which employ more than 270,000 people in Scotland, has been met with disbelief and all businesses affected are urged to get involved by supporting the petition.
The petition orchestrated by Jon Sharp who owns a Kilimanjaro Coffee, says, “Scottish jobs and businesses deserve the same support as the rest of the UK. The Scottish Government have made a complete U-turn on their promise to deliver their promises as Fiona Hyslop quite clearly stated that the “Government will ‘provide a £25,000 grant for hospitality, leisure and retail properties with a rateable value between £18,000 and £51,000.”
The Scottish Government has chosen to discriminate against multi-site businesses who contribute more jobs and are driving economic growth in Scotland.
It urges people to sign, saying, “Please please help us in keeping our businesses afloat, and in doing this be able to retain all our team and bring the Scottish Government to task on their actions.”