With many businesses now able to reopen, including the tourism and hospitality sector, Borders MP John Lamont is calling on the SNP government to provide long term reductions in business rates to ensure they can stay open.
Despite the easing of lockdown all businesses have to adapt to the new, costly, regulations in order to keep staff and customers safe.
Coupled with the effects of lockdown itself, there is serious concern across the board that without specific support, many businesses could fail.
The latest figures from the Royal Bank of Scotland’s business activity index showed Scotland was the worst performing area of the UK in June 2020. In addition, unemployment figures are worse in Scotland than anywhere else in the UK.
Other senior business figures have warned that it may take up to ten years for the Scottish economy to recover from the Covid crisis.
Mr Lamont joins the Scottish Conservatives in urging the SNP government to give businesses further help with long-term reductions in business rates, including reducing the large business supplement.
John Lamont MP said: “I am extremely pleased that many local businesses can now reopen and trade safely.
“Unfortunately, the economic damage faced by the Scottish Borders and the rest of the country is severe and widespread. Without significant and concrete action from the SNP government, many businesses might not survive, despite the relaxation in restrictions.
“Scottish businesses have already received less financial support from the Scottish government compared to other parts of the UK. It is time for the SNP to step up and implement long term reductions in business rates, including a reduction in the large business supplement.
“Without this kind of long term support from the SNP government, more local jobs will be lost.”