Small business leaders said the relaxation of coronavirus restrictions by the Scottish Government would allow businesses, including shops, to “save some trade” before Christmas.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said that with news that from this weekend, covid restrictions would be relaxed in important parts of the world, people support local companies, particularly shops, while following public health advice.
Today’s reforms allow several smaller Scottish businesses the chance to do some trading before Christmas, said Andrew McRae, the FSB’s Scotland policy chair. But if people around the country are not prepared to help traders on their doorstep, it would be for nothing.
That is why we encourage people in Scotland to use the full 12 days from this weekend to the 25th of December to support their local and independent companies wherever they can. We need everyone to do their part, no matter where you are in the country or what stage you are at.
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The FSB also urged the Scottish government to use the tax relief windfall returned by retail chains to finance a voucher scheme aimed at encouraging independent operators, ahead of the announcement planned today by Treasury Secretary Kate Forbes MSP.
She predicted that the Scottish government will earn around £ 190 million in returned tax relief and referred to the announcement by the government of Northern Ireland of a £ 95 million voucher scheme to improve the economy.
“The big chains that have returned unnecessary tax relief deserve praise for doing the right thing,” Mr. McRae said. Now the money must be used by ministers in Edinburgh to support Scottish small businesses that have been hit hardest by this pandemic.
“That’s why they need to introduce a voucher scheme to get the tills ringing in the country’s high streets. This move would ease the frustration of many operators.”