“Our collective response has required us to take some difficult decisions to deal with the public health risk, which we recognise has been extremely challenging for businesses and the economy as a whole. We also recognise the efforts that businesses have made to ensure that they are operating in a way which minimises the risk from the virus when they have been able to open. As we move slowly and carefully towards reopening parts of the economy, we will continue to work with sector bodies and business organisations to ensure that guidance is developed collaboratively. We recognise that some sectors will still be restricted even at Levels 0 and 1, particularly while physical social distancing and other non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as face coverings, are in place. So, we will continue to talk to business and other sectors about the contents of Levels 0, 1 and 2, for example the size of gatherings allowed at sporting and cultural events and in places of worship. We will also continue to review and consider the need for physical social distancing and other interventions.. We hope to be able to relax the current restrictions further as the data allows.
“We recognise the financial challenges that have faced businesses this last year and hope that these changes will pave the way for thousands of businesses across Scotland starting the journey back to normality. In February we said that we would maintain and build on the Strategic Framework Business Fund (SFBF) and the £120 million Local Authority Discretionary Fund beyond 31 March and of course our plans for business support have been closely aligned with the wider changes. Recognising the importance of front-loading that support to help businesses prepare to reopen, we will:
On 19 April 2021, all businesses currently in receipt of support through the Strategic Framework Business Fund on Non-Domestic Rates will automatically receive a combined final 2-week supplement and a one-off restart grant to help them reopen: