Wylie & Bisset backs calls for business rate support for Scottish hospitality sector

Wylie & Bisset backs calls for business rate support for Scottish hospitality sector

Catherine Livingstone

Wylie & Bisset, accountants and business advisers, has backed calls from the Scottish hospitality sector for business rate support.

The firm agrees with UKHospitality (UKH) Scotland that a lack of business rates support for Scottish hospitality is unfairly hindering the sector in comparison to English businesses.

While Scottish firms have not benefitted from any business rates relief since last June, English businesses have been supported by relief since the pandemic and will continue to be supported by up to 75% relief on business rates in the coming financial year.

UKH Scotland says there is an urgent need for short-term business rates relief to ease the burden on businesses.

Catherine Livingstone, partner and head of the business advisory services team at Wylie & Bisset, said: “I believe that the government needs to offer more support to the hospitality sector. It is brutally unfair that hospitality businesses in England receive rates relief because of their location while Scottish businesses do not.

“Many Scottish operators have been facing a considerable downturn in trade since the onset of Covid, as well as having to cope with rising costs, supply issues and staff shortages, and I know of many family-owned or small independent hospitality businesses that are currently considering their future, given the impact that these factors have had on squeezing their bottom line profits.”

Ms Livingstone predicts that without urgent government support, many more hospitality operators in Scotland will fail.

She added: “I would urge any operators who are struggling to survive to seek financial advice as soon as possible to consider their options for the future.

“I know many businesses are already doing what they can in term of managing cashflow, cutting costs, raising prices and undertaking financial forecasting, but despite that there are real struggles in the hospitality sector. It is now critical that the government steps in and offers business rate support.”

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