A £320 million support package has been announced by the Scottish Government to help businesses across the country deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
The Finance Secretary Kate Forbes revealed a raft of measures to soften the blow of the Covid-19 outbreak, including 75% rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a rateable value of less than £69,000 from April 1.
The package also includes an £80 million fund to provide grants of at least £3,000 for small businesses in sectors facing the worst of economic impacts.
A fixed rates relief of up to £5,000 for all pubs with rateable values of less than £100,000 from April 1 was also announced at the weekend.
Ms Forbes said: “COVID-19 will have challenging implications for businesses and the economy over the coming weeks and months.
“As well as following the latest health and travel advice, it’s also crucial we consider the latest economic analysis and listen carefully to what the business community is telling us. We know that the tourism and hospitality sectors are facing immediate pressure, which is why we have directed support to them in particular.
“All rate-payers will benefit from a relief that effectively reverses the planned inflationary uplift in the poundage that was due to come into effect in April.
“We will also be making the case to the UK Government that, because of the larger number of small businesses in Scotland, we need additional resources to be able to provide further support.”
Adrian Watson, chief executive of the business group Aberdeen Inspired said: “The level of pressure on the high street is well-documented and Aberdeen is no different in this.”