Owners of self-catering businesses have got back in touch with Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, to say they are still not eligible for the business support grant.
This comes despite positive announcements from the Scottish Government’s Finance Secretary on Friday 27 March that the £10,000 and £25,000 business grant would support self-catering businesses, depending on their turn-over, through the COVID-19 crisis, but Mrs Grant is still concerned that many will go without support.
The MSP has had many constituents contact her raising concerns that they do not fit the criteria to qualify for a grant because their self-catering business is not their primary source of earnings and they depend on several small income streams rather than one main source.
Mrs Grant has therefore written to the Finance Secretary, Kate Forbes, and Fiona Hyslop, Economy, Fair Work and Culture Secretary, again.
She is asking for the Scottish Government to look into an individual’s income as a whole and provide a percentage of the relevant business support grant depending on the proportion that self-catering makes towards someone’s complete income.
Mrs Grant said: “I welcome this move by the Scottish Government to extend this support to self-catering businesses however, it would appear that this does not go far enough to support everyone.
“This move overlooks individuals within the Highlands and Islands and beyond who depend on several small streams of income to make a decent living. For example crofters who manage their croft and then make up their living by renting out a cottage.”
Mrs Grant continued: “This strict criteria will mean that some people who deserve support are still going to fall through the cracks and it will put people out of business. I have therefore asked the Scottish Government to look at this again and I hope that they adjust this support accordingly.”