This is a difficult time for businesses and their staff. I want to reach out directly to local businesses to offer my support and keep you as up to date as possible with the support being provided at a local and national level. Please email me at

Businesses are being asked to call the Scottish Government’s hotline on 0300 303 0660. The helpline will be open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm. I know that some people are struggling to get through. The service is understandably experiencing high demand. I urge businesses to be persistent. The support being provided is unprecedented and it will take a wee while to get the services fully up and running.

The Scottish Government have announced a £2.2bn package of support to help sustain businesses and, crucially, help them pay staff and treat staff fairly:

• 100% Non-Domestic Rates relief for all retail, hospitality and leisure sectors;

• 1.6% Non-Domestic Rates relief for all properties across Scotland;

• All small businesses that receive the small business bonus scheme or rural relief will be eligible for a £10,000 grant;

• £25,000 grants to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors for those with a rateable value between £18,000 and £51,000;

• On top of that, the Scottish Government have taken steps to effectively halt the inflationary increase in business rates that was due in April.