Nicole Bernard from The Wax Bar Group has criticised The Scottish Government for ‘betraying’ the rescue packages available from the UK Chancellor.

The businesswoman says that Scottish businesses deserve the same help during the Covid-19 pandemic as others in the rest of the UK, and has begun a petition which so far has gathered over 1000 signatures.

She explained that shortfalls in the business grant support in Scotland is putting an added pressure on firms like hers. She has beauty salons in Scotland and North East England.

Last week, Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled a ‘significant’ rescue package for retail businesses hit by COVID-19 but Mrs Bernard said that the Scottish Government is putting the beauty industry and businesses and jobs alike in Scotland at risk by failing to give firms the same level of support as in England and Wales.

Small businesses in England and Wales are receiving a grant of £25,000 for every qualifying property they have – properties with a rateable value between £18,000 and £51,000.

The Scottish Government initially announced it would be “replicating fully” that scheme, but later Scottish Finance Minister Kate Forbes betrayed these commitments announcing just a single grant for each business. 

Today Mrs Bernand together with Edinburgh coffee shop business owner Jon Sharp launched an online petition on that demands equal support for jobs and businesses all over Scotland which are now at risk. The petition has already received almost 1000 signatures. 

Mrs Bernard said:”A business like mine has multiple properties in Scotland but under the current arrangements, I’ll only receive assistance with one of them. It’s completely unreasonable when we are all doing our best to protect jobs. We are facing huge financial stress at a time of uncertainty so we need the Scottish Government to work with us. Instead, I feel a little betrayed that all the support being offered in England and Wales is not being extended to Scottish businesses.”  

Jon Sharp, who owns Kilimanjaro Coffee said:”We have been misled by the Scottish Government who are offering a fraction of assistance being received in the rest of the UK. Business and jobs will be lost all over Scotland as a result of flawed one size fits all grants.”

In addition to a flagship store on Rose Street in Edinburgh, The Wax Bar Group has an outlet in St Andrews, one in South Queensferry, one in Newcastle and two additional Edinburgh sites in Fountainbridge and Morningside.

To sign and support the petition click here