To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to (a) support retailers that have sought to close stores during the covid-19 outbreak in (i) East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow constituency and (ii) other areas of the UK and (b) enable anchor stores to remain open.
The UK Government has provided unprecedented support to retail businesses across the UK, with generous income support schemes, loans and grants, and tax deferrals. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been instrumental in protecting jobs, including 779,500 Scottish employments furloughed.
Additionally, we have extended the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to businesses in deep debt, which will allow small and independent retailers that are not insolvent to access the scheme.
The Scottish Government has put a comprehensive package of measures worth £2.3 billion to help sustain Scottish businesses, including 100% rates relief for properties in the retail, hospitality, leisure and airport sectors, and a local authority-delivered Business Support Fund worth over £1 billion, which includes Small Business Grants to the ratepayers of properties in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.
Public health is a devolved matter and therefore business closures may differ between devolved nations. Details of business restrictions and closures are set out in The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations 2020.