New analysis shows that thousands of Scottish hospitality businesses will be left unsupported, if rates relief isn’t included in the Scottish Budget.
The Fraser of Allander Institute has concluded that around 10,000 hospitality businesses would stand to benefit if the Scottish Government heeded the calls from UKHospitality Scotland and introduced a business rates relief scheme, replicating support in England.
Those 10,000 businesses are ineligible for the small business bonus scheme, which would mean they would be left unsupported through one of the most challenging economic periods in years if the Scottish Government chooses not to act.
UKHospitality Scotland Executive Director Leon Thompson said:
“The Scottish Government has a golden £230 million opportunity to show its support for one of Scotland’s most important sectors – hospitality, leisure and tourism – by introducing a business rates relief scheme.
“These figures clearly show what is at stake and the fate of almost 10,000 businesses hang in the balance, as they await tomorrow’s Budget.
“If rates relief is introduced, they have some degree of certainty and can fulfil plans to invest in and grow their businesses, delivering economic growth and creating even more jobs.
“If the Scottish Government chooses not to act, those businesses will have no support whatsoever. Some will be closer to closing for good and others will remain fighting for survival and unable to invest. This significantly impacts on our sector’s ability to deliver economic growth for Scotland and create more jobs.
“That would be a tragedy, particularly when the Scottish Government would have had two opportunities to act on delivering a reciprocal business rates relief scheme.
“UKHospitality Scotland, alongside the entire hospitality sector, has made these calls loud and clear – it’s time the Scottish Government now acted.”
UKHospitality Scotland is also calling for the poundage rate to be frozen in the Budget, preventing a further £20m cost increase for the sector.