Scotland’s finance secretary Kate Forbes has announced an extension of 100% business rates relief for the country’s hospitality sector, which will see the scheme now run until June.
Speaking on the Scottish Budget yesterday, Forbes detailed how the government will continue to support businesses in the hospitality, retail, leisure and aviation industries, as well as plans to double the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund.
Forbes also confirmed the payment of temporary closure and business restrictions grants in February, regardless of any change in the restriction levels applied by Scottish government.
The business rates holiday was originally scheduled to end on March 31.
The government also said that should chancellor Rishi Sunak announce an extension to business rates relief support past June 30 in the upcoming budget, it will match it.
Sunak is set to detail plans for the budget on March 3.
Forbes also committed to reducing business rates to 2019/2020 levels which it estimates will save Scottish businesses over £120m.
UKHospitality Scotland executive director Willie Macleod said: “The Scottish Budget has brought some welcome, albeit short-term, relief for the hospitality sector. It provides a platform upon which we can build if we get the correct support from the Chancellor.
“The extension of the rates relief will give operators some stability but it is vital that the relief is extended for the entire 2021/22 financial year. Funding must be delivered to the devolved administrations to allow this to happen as the Finance Secretary indicated.
“The steps outlined in the Scottish Budget give a platform upon which to build. The Chancellor now needs to recognise that ongoing support is still needed; both for the extension of the Strategic Framework Business Fund and to enable businesses to survive the crisis before trading their way back to growth. Extending the VAT cut for another year is a must.”