SCOTTISH chartered accountancy practice Wylie & Bisset has called for an extension to the business rates relief holiday in response to the extension of coronavirus lockdown measures until at least mid-February.
Mainland Scotland was placed into lockdown on January 4 to tackle the rising spread of the new coronavirus strain. And with the economic impact of lockdown crippling many Scottish businesses, particularly the hospitality and retail sectors, the firm says there is an urgent need to extend the business rates relief holiday and other support schemes due to end in the spring.
Donald McKinnon, managing partner at Wylie & Bisset, said: “Given the persistently high prevalence of Covid-19, the extension of the lockdown is understandable – but it is imperative that this extension is matched by a corresponding extension to the support packages in place to help Scottish businesses survive.
“And in the wake of the worst ever December trading figures for Scotland’s retailers – a 15% fall in sales in real terms – an extension to the business rates relief holiday for at least another three months to those firms forced to close under current restrictions is essential.”
The firm is advising professionals and other intermediaries with business clients concerned about financial distress resulting from the latest extension to Covid-19 restrictions to consider a payment plan through the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS).
A statutory debt management plan introduced by the Scottish Government, a DAS gives clients an opportunity to stretch out a financial dip or debt extension because of Covid-19 and to even out their liabilities over several years.
If approved, a DAS will allow all debts of the client to be repaid over a number of years. If creditors have started a legal process for recovery, then a DAS can stop this action going further.
Wylie & Bisset is advising professionals with business clients experiencing financial distress resulting from Covid-19 restrictions to contact them for details about the scheme.