09 Apr 2020
Glasgow Chamber members have been hearing from City Council Leader Susan Aitken on what the administration is doing to support businesses throughout the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.
In an online meeting, Cllr Aitken outlined a number of steps, including on rates relief where all businesses throughout Glasgow will be eligible for a discount on their bills.
Cllr Aitken also issued a plea to businesses who foresee difficulties in paying non-domestic rates bills to contact the council immediately for support.
She said: “The basic guidance on rates relief is that all businesses and all non-domestic properties in Scotland will get 1.6% relief in their bills which will effectively reverse the change in poundage which had been put in place in the budget for 2020/21.
“Meanwhile, retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will receive 100% rates relief.
“No one needs to apply for that. It will be applied automatically when the bills are sent out by the council.
“For people who are struggling to pay NDR bills, we are asking them to contact the Council and do it as early as possible and we can work with you on that.”
The leader of the SNP administration also told the meeting that more staff are being drafted in to deal with an inundation of requests for business grants.
She said: “Glasgow has received over 10,000 applications for business grants and we don’t think that’s the final number. The council will be doubling the number of people who will be processing those applications.
“Around £12m has already been paid out to businesses in Glasgow. We have the biggest caseload of any local authority in Scotland, but I think we’re the one that’s furthest ahead in terms of delivery. It’s all hands on deck with this.
“We don’t want the money hanging around in our systems, we want to get it out as quickly as possible to businesses, but clearly there are processes that must be followed.”
The online meeting heard how the administration is also looking ahead to the long-term economic impact of the global pandemic and what that could mean for the city.
“We do not want to leave the long-term planning for this to the last minute”, said Cllr Aitken. “There is a lot of thought going on right now about how we mitigate against the impact of this.
“The human cost is impacting all of our minds right now, but the economic impact on this city is giving me sleepless nights. It’s a worry, but there’s already a Team Glasgow approach bringing itself together to plan ahead for how we mitigate against the worst of it.”