Updated: Dec 10, 2020
The Scottish Government has announced a new £19million fund to financially assist taxi drivers during the coronavirus pandemic.
The announcement comes after discussions with business groups and will deliver vital help to a wide range of sectors which includes taxi drivers, arts venues, travel agents and more.
The £19million fund is part of a wider £185million package of targeted coronavirus (COVID-19) support.
In addition, there will be additional one-off payments to hospitality businesses in January to help them deal with the traditional post-Christmas dip in demand. These will be of £2,000 or £3,000, depending on rateable value.
The package was announced by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes, who also said she had written to the Treasury calling for Scotland to receive its share of rates relief reimbursed by supermarkets “to ensure this is spent on those areas hardest hit as part of Scotland’s recovery from COVID-19”.
Specific support detailed in today’s announcement includes:
£15million for the wedding sector and its supply chain, including photographers
one-off grants totalling £15million for mobile close contact services, such as hairdressers
a £19million fund and one-off grants for taxi drivers
£5million for travel agents
almost £6million for coach companies and tour operators
£1.5million for visitor attractions.
Ms Forbes said: “Today I am pleased to confirm an allocation of £185 million for new and additional business support in the new year. We have listened to businesses and this assistance will be provided on a sector-by-sector basis, targeted at those who need it most.
“We are developing grant schemes for hospitality, for the events sector, live music and cultural venues, for the arts, indoor football centres and for the food and drink sector, including £1.8million for brewers.
“We will give £1.5million to travelling show people ineligible for other support, while a new £19million fund, plus a one-off grant, will help taxi drivers.
"I can also announce that further support of £60million will be provided to the tourism sector, details of which will be developed in consultation with the industry.
“I am listening to the needs of business and we will continue to review and refine our COVID-19 support offer within the available resources.”
More detail on the package will be announced in the coming days and businesses can expect to apply for all the new grant schemes in January.