SNP MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, Colin Beattie, has written to local business owners to outline Scottish Government support worth £2.2 billion.
On Wednesday SNP Economy Secretary, Fiona Hyslop, announced a package of support in face of the current ‘economic emergency’, including:
• a full year’s 100% non-domestic rates relief for retail, hospitality and tourism
• £10,000 grants for small businesses in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme or Rural Relief
• £25,000 grants for hospitality, leisure and retail properties with a rateable value between £18,000 and £51,000
• 1.6% relief for all properties, effectively freezing the poundage rate next year
A business helpline has also been launched to offer advice to those with concerns about the impact of COVID-19.
Earlier this week, the Scottish Government also announced that schools will be closed from the start of next week – while urging people to work from home where possible and minimise social contact.
Commenting, Colin Beattie said:
“Local businesses and industries here in Midlothian and East Lothian are concerned about the impact that coronavirus will have on the local economy.
“This pandemic will disrupt lives like never before and cause financial hardship for people across Scotland. But be assured that the Scottish and UK Governments are working tirelessly to protect and support people this difficult time.
“This package of reliefs and grants will help support local businesses that are struggling to get by.
“The current advice is clear – work at home where you can, avoid using public transport and minimise your social contact.
“If anyone in your household shows any symptoms you must stay at home for 14 days. Those over 70 and with underlying health conditions should stay at home regardless and avoid social contact as much as possible.
“In times of crisis that we have a responsibility to step up and look out for one another – I know that’s exactly what the people of Midlothian and East Lothian will do.”