COWDENBEATH MSP Annabelle Ewing is pleased with the announcement of a £320 million package of support for businesses in response to the impact of COVID-19.

The following steps will be in place to support businesses during the 2020-21 financial year: a 75% rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a rateable value of less than £69,000 from April 1 2020; an £80 million fund to provide grants of at least £3,000 to small businesses in sectors facing the worst economic impact of COVID-19; 1.6% rates relief for all properties across Scotland, effectively reversing the planned below inflation uplift in the poundage from 1 April 2020; a fixed rates relief of up to £5,000 for all pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000 from 1 April 2020

Ms Ewing said on Monday: “COVID-19 is affecting many aspects of our lives as individuals, families and communities. There is no doubt whatsoever that there are challenging implications for businesses and the economy so I am pleased to be able to welcome a £320 million package of support that has been announced by the Finance Secretary.

“Businesses receiving support are being encouraged to operate with fair work principles including supporting staff to self-isolate when they need to and if they have caring responsibilities and to consider keeping staff in employment where at all possible.

“The Scottish Government will continue to work closely with others to identify what further support is needed and local businesses should also be aware of the helpline that has been set up through which they can get more information about what help is available.”