The Scottish Government has extended the Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Grants Scheme to support retailers operating smaller shops.

The extension was confirmed by Scottish Finance Secretary Kate Forbes.

Forbes said: “The Scottish Government is delivering a strong package of business support worth around £2.3 billion, and I am pleased that today marks the opening of the second phase of our Business Grants Funding Scheme, increasing the eligibility for multiple properties within the same business.

“Our actions have been welcomed by the private and third sectors alike and are making a real difference to people’s lives in Scotland.

These grants are expected to help those retailers deemed non-essential to survive the pandemic.

Retailers can apply for the funding for their ‘second and subsequent shop premises’.

Scottish Retail Consortium director David Lonsdale said: “With this extension now open it’s vital that local authorities swiftly process grant applications to allow retailers access to the cash they need to keep afloat and aid high streets across Scotland, which have been left reeling by the coronavirus.

“It’s vital that government continues to work closely with business over the coming weeks, including developing a clear plan to allow retailers to return to trading when it’s safe for them to do so.”

Last month, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) worked with its members and external stakeholders, including trade union USDAW, to provide guidelines for the reopening of stores amid the Covid-19 pandemic.