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More must be done to get empty homes back into use

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Discretion in Scottish COVID-19 grant scheme means eligible agencies should get help

Thursday 04 June 2020

The Scottish Government has responded to concerns raised by Propertymark on behalf of its members, following reports that some Scottish agents had been denied access to business support schemes when local authorities declared the grant is not available to their sector.

Agents may be eligible for the Business Support Grant scheme

In the correspondence from the Scottish Government’s Non-Domestic Rates Team, they confirm that the scheme contains an element of discretion that local authorities may use to ensure that the grant reaches those business ratepayers in need and directly affected by COVID-19.

The response says that local authorities may award a grant to a qualifying property business if they are satisfied that it is engaged solely or mainly in marketing property, and not providing landlord, financial or legal services. This is subject to the local authority being satisfied that individual cases meet the eligibility criteria.

The Small Business Grant is available to:

  • small businesses in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme (SBBS) or Rural Relief on 17 March 2020.
  • properties eligible for SBBS and in receipt of either Nursery Relief, Business Growth Accelerator, Fresh Start Relief, Disabled Relief, Sports Relief, Enterprise Areas Relief, or Charitable Rate Relief on 17 March 2020.

A £25,000 grant is available to businesses in the Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure industry for premises with a rateable value between £18,001 and £51,000.

Eligible ratepayers with additional qualifying properties may also apply for a 75 per cent grant on each additional property. Small Business Grants of £7,500 and Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure Grants of £18,750 will cover any additional qualifying properties, subject to compliance with EU State Aid Rules.

Other help is available

These measures are not the only form of support for businesses and individuals, as Scottish agents are also able to claim form UK Government schemes if they meet the eligibility criteria. This includes The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), Business Interruption Payment, and Bounce Back Loans.

The UK Government Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is available to all UK employers with a PAYE scheme that was created and started on or before 19 March 2020 and applied to employees who have been furloughed.


Propertymark has updated its guide to Government funding, which is available in the Propertymark members' area of the website along with other resources including details of legislative changes.

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