Around £220 million of further grants are being made available for businesses - including the recently self-employed - to help them deal with the ongoing impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The new package of measures includes £120 million 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.
A further £100 million fund is also being made available to protect self-employed people and viable micro and SME businesses in distress due to COVID. This fund will be channelled through local authorities and enterprise agencies to target newly self-employed people and businesses who are ineligible for other Scottish Government or UK Government schemes.
Applications for the £100 million fund will be open by the end of the month, and the new arrangements for the Small Business Grant will be in place to receive applications on 5 May.
Christina McKelvie, SNP MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehosue said:
''This is encouraging news for businesses in Scotland to help with the effects of Covid-19.
''We understand the stress this is having on business owners and their employees, so this further funding should give businesses the support needed during this difficult time.
''We want to continue to work with people in these sectors across Scotland to help maximise the support we can give.''
Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said:
“The Scottish Government’s primary concern remains protecting people’s health, but it is still the case that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is having severe economic consequences for businesses around the country.
“Our support for business now exceeds the £2.2 billion passed on from the UK Government and actively works to fill the gaps in the UK schemes.
“The creation of a £100 million fund is to help those micro and SME businesses who face immediate cash flow challenges, are ineligible for other schemes and are the productive base for supporting employment in the future.
“With UK Government support not being available until June, we are going further to secure the future economic viability of Scottish firms and applications will be open by the end of the month.
“Just as we ask the public only to buy what they need in the supermarkets, we are asking businesses who do not need this vital help to refrain from claiming additional support unless absolutely necessary so we can direct as much help as possible to those who need it most.”