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Charities benefit from grant scheme but gaps remain

Kate Forbes new

Kate Forbes: ‘constant review’ (pic: Terry Murden)

Properties occupied by charities can now apply for the £10,000 Small Business Grant Scheme to help with pressures caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The extension of the scheme, announced by the First Minister today, is expected to result in an additional £31 million being made available to more than 3,000 small properties occupied by charities – including day centres, workshops and halls.

It will apply to properties which are in receipt of any Charitable Rates Relief or Sports Relief, but are otherwise eligible for the Small Business Bonus Scheme.

However, there was no further announcement on supporting businesses such as bed & breakfast establishments that pay council tax, or those that pay their business rates as part of a shared office deal. These companies operating in England were granted support by the UK government a week ago.

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes, said: “Our package of business support is under constant review as we look for improvements that can be made to existing schemes, or any gaps we are able to fill.

“It had become clear that many charities which run small premises, such as day centres and halls, had been hit hard by loss of revenue during the pandemic. This is particularly pressing for small and medium-sized charities which deliver health and social care support, and are heavily reliant on income from their retail operations.

“In order to support these vital charities we have therefore taken the decision to open up the Small Business Grant Scheme to allow them to apply for grants of £10,000 on the first eligible property and £7,500 on any additional eligible properties.”

The Small Business Grant Scheme is administered by local authorities. Organisations can apply for the scheme through their local council.

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