£40m funding for hospitality firms in Scotland – what we know so far

A new £40m funding package for hospitality and other businesses affected by coronavirus restrictions in Scotland launches today (October 20th)

UPDATED: A £40m funding pot has launched today to help hospitality and other firms that have had to close due to further COVID-19 restrictions.

The Scottish Government confirmed the funding package in a previous announcement. These businesses must be located in the Ayrshire & Arran; Forth Valley; Greater Glasgow & Clyde; Lanarkshire and Lothian health board areas that are required by law to close under the Covid-19 brake restrictions.

“We have decided to put further restrictions on hospitality, but to offer significantly more financial help,” said First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.

The COVID-19 Restrictions Fund will provide one-off grants of up to £3,000, depending on rateable value, to pubs, bars, restaurants and other businesses that have been required to close by the restrictions. Business with an RV up to £51,000 will receive £2,000 and those above £51,000 with receive £3,000.

Apply for the funding through your local authority website.

Furthermore, a hardship fund with grants of up to £1,500 will support businesses that stay open who are directly impacted by the restrictions. That includes those in the direct supply chains of firms that must close.

A discretionary fund of up to £11m will help businesses that need support but don’t fall into the categories.

Additionally, the Scottish Government said that it “will work with the STUC, employer organisations and HMRC to deliver targeted support to employees as we recognise that employers are now liable for 20 per cent of salary costs for furloughed workers.”

Applications will close on Tuesday 3rd November at 5pm.

What are the new COVID-19 restrictions in Scotland?

Pubs and restaurants in the central belt will be forced to close from 18:00 from Friday for 16 days (from 10th-25th October). They will only be able to offer takeaways.

This applies to the Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley health board areas.

As for the rest of the country, hospitality businesses will only be allowed to operate between 6am and 6pm and no alcohol is allowed to be served inside. Evening meals can be served.

Licensed premises can still serve alcohol outdoors until the 22:00 curfew that was announced last month.

The rule of six still applies indoors and outdoors for hospitality venues.

Alcohol can still be served at weddings and funerals, but attendance is limited to 20 people. They must take place on regulated premises.

Customers must wear face masks inside (except when eating and drinking) and supply their contact details for track and trace.

Staff must wear masks and there must be table service only.

Snooker and pool halls, bingo halls, indoor bowling alleys and casinos in the five most at-risk health board will be closed for the same 16-day period mentioned above. Outdoor live events will also be banned.

Professional sports can go ahead but contact sports and training for over 18s will be put on hold for the same period. Gyms can stay open for individual exercise, but group indoor exercise activities won’t be allowed, except for under 18s.

Shops are also being asked to reintroduce two-metre distancing as well as some other measures, such as one-way systems.

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Anna Jordan

Anna is Senior Reporter, covering topics affecting SMEs such as grant funding, managing employees and the day-to-day running of a business.