Since last November The Scottish Government has paid out more than half a billion pounds in support to businesses in Scotland.

The Strategic Framework Business Fund had paid out £214 million by 22 February according to latest figures. Approximately 89% of this support went to small and medium sized businesses with a rateable value less than £51,000.

An additional £218 million was paid out under the Hospitality, Retail and Leisure Top-Up fund in the period to 26 February.

In total businesses have received more than £533 million in grants since the introduction of the Strategic Framework on 2 November.

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said: “Since the start of the pandemic we’ve done everything in our power to protect people’s livelihoods with business support accounting for over a third of total COVID-19 spend.

“We want as many businesses as possible to benefit from the funding we have made available and I have confirmed that the Strategic Framework Business Fund will continue to support eligible companies into the next financial year.

“The recent Scottish budget also provided certainty and stability to businesses by extending 100% non-domestic rates relief for retail, hospitality, leisure and aviation businesses for the whole of next financial year. This is more generous than the equivalent reliefs available in other UK nations.

“I will set out more detail on future business and sector support later this month.”

The Strategic Framework Business Fund provides grants of up to £3,000 every four weeks.

Edinburgh taxis

Meanwhile there are some sectors of business which do not think they have had sufficient government support. This includes the taxi trade. Unite the union has lodged a petition with The Scottish Parliament here asking for more support.

The union calls on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to protect the future of the taxi trade by:

• providing financial support to taxi drivers;
• setting up a national stakeholder group with trade union driver representatives;
• reviewing low emission standards and implementation dates