Scotland Announces Rescue Package For Small Businesses In Wake Of Coronavirus Pandemic

With the World Health Organisation officially declaring the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus a pandemic, governments around the world are scrambling to ensure the safety of citizens as drastic measures such as nationwide lockdowns are put into place.

The impact on the economy of each country is already proving to be massive, and in order to try and reduce the heavy strain imposed on businesses governments are looking into the best possible measures to limit the impact during and after the pandemic reaches its peak.

In order to assist businesses that are being hit the hardest, mainly small businesses who do not have the financial capacity to keep afloat amongst the economic struggle (along with employees who may be left jobless) – Scotland has introduced a new rescue package, which will greatly assist the (live) music industry which has, for the most part, been brought to a standstill.

The rescue package, valued at £320 million is set to be put into place from 2020 – 2021: with rates of relief specifically being aimed at the hospitality, retail and leisure sectors.

In a report by the BBC – from April 1st, Scotland will implement rates of relief of 75% afforded to these three sectors with rateable value of less than £69,000. Small businesses in the sectors hit the hardest by the pandemic will receive at least £3,000 from a fund of £80m. Pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000, will see fixed rates relief of up to £5,000.

The Scottish government has also announced a £50m hardship fund in order to assist people whose livelihoods have been affected by the pandemic, along with 1.6% rates relief for all properties.

The rescue package will greatly help the music industry in Scotland as live music has been brought to a standstill in most countries, with small music venues and independent record stores bearing the brunt of the major economic losses.

In response to the rescue package, the Music Venues Trust shared via Facebook:

“While MVT welcomes these moves by Scottish Government, we would note that England’s Grassroots Music Venues will be supported with 100% relief creating a market disparity at a time of extraordinary challenges. This is a positive start but much more will need to be done.”

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