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Independent retailers in Scotland are disappointed that last week’s Budget has failed to assist city centre retailers who are still experiencing slumps in footfall as workers continue to stay at home.

Responding, Ferhan Ashiq, the Federation of Independent Retailers (NFRN) Scottish President, said: “While we thank the Scottish government for maintaining the Small Business Bonus Scheme, we call on the government to reassess its stance on retailers that are on the threshold.

“There are many city centre retailers who are still struggling because the covid restrictions are hampering footfall numbers.  These retailers need and do require immediate, temporary relief.  Three months in the current challenging climate is too short.”

Delivering last week’s Budget. finance secretary Kate Forbes announced that rates relief for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will continue at 50 per cent for the first three months of 2022-23, capped at £27,500 per ratepayer. It is hoped that this measure will prevent a cliff edge for businesses in those sectors, saving them a further £56 million.

Small businesses with a rateable value of less than £15,000 on a Scottish high street will continue to pay no rates for the entirety of next year, irrespective of what sector they are in, through the Small Business Bonus Scheme

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