Details of support for larger self-catering properties and B&Bs paying Council Tax have been confirmed by Tourism Secretary Fergus Ewing MSP.
The £7 million Large Self-Catering Grant and the Exclusive Use Grant was announced as part of the £104 million tourism and hospitality package in December. Eligible self–catering businesses will be able to apply for one off grant support of £2,000. Eligible exclusive use premises will be able to apply for £10,000 in grant support.
All self-catering properties, B&Bs and guest houses that are eligible at Level 4 for Non Domestic Rates Relief can now apply to the Strategic Framework Business Fund, which provides grants for businesses required to close by law as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. In most cases this will be payments of £2,000 every four weeks.
Mr Ewing confirmed that support equivalent to the Strategic Framework Business Fund will also now be available to B&Bs which do not pay Non Domestic Rates (NDR) but pay Council Tax. This support will be disbursed by North Ayrshire Council officers on behalf of the Scottish Government.
Following the announcement that islands businesses will receive support equivalent to Level 4 and top-up payments for Hospitality, Retail and Leisure, local authorities will be paying the equivalent of up to £3,000 every four weeks to self-catering and other accommodation providers on the islands, details of which will be published shortly. If they meet the criteria, they will also be eligible for the Large Self-Catering Grant (seven or more guests) and the Exclusive Use Grants.
Mr Ewing said:
“It is clear that some larger self-catering properties have been uniquely impacted, initially by the rule restricting the number of guests to six from two households, and then by the single household rule.
“I am pleased to confirm the details of this extra support for self-catering businesses. This will be targeted directly where it is needed most, to those self-catering businesses that have been severely impacted by the restriction on household numbers. All self-catering and other accommodation providers are already in scope for regular payments from the SFBF and I would encourage business owners to make sure they have registered with their local authority for this support.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“Despite a temporary reprieve over summer, tourism has been stifled by the pandemic since March of last year. Since the beginning of the pandemic I have assisted dozens of owners of self-catering businesses access Scottish Government support.
“The extension to those who pay Council Tax rather than NDR and the impending arrangements for rolling payments to island businesses are very welcome and I look forward to receiving more detail on the latter.”
To be eligible for the support self-catering businesses must by on the NDR roll, and must be recorded by the rates assessor as sleeping seven or more guests.
To be eligible for exclusive use self-catering support, self-catering businesses must be listed on the NDR roll, as ‘exclusive use accommodation’.
Details of how to access the Large Self-Catering Grant and the Exclusive Use Grant, and support for B&Bs paying Council Tax rather than NDR, will be published on Find Business Support shortly.