BUSINESSES across Scotland have received more than £4.6 billion of support to get them through the Covid pandemic.

Research from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) shows the Scottish Government has provided businesses with £2.884bn worth of grants since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.

Businesses also benefited from £1.576bn of business rates relief, with businesses in Scotland receiving 100% rates relief until March 2022 – a more generous scheme than the partial relief offered by the UK Government to businesses in England and Wales.

On December 17, the Scottish Government announced a further £100 million support package for businesses to compensate for festive cancellations as a result of the Omicron spread.

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SNP MSP Colin Beattie, above, deputy convener of the Economy and Fair Work Committee, said: “Scottish Government support throughout the pandemic has been a vital lifeline for thousands of businesses across the country.

“It has enabled many to stay afloat while they were closed and ensured they did not have to let any staff go.

“In Scotland we have also been more generous with our business rates relief, compared with that offered in England and Wales, showing how the Scottish Government has stepped up, listened to businesses and provided the support and funding they need.

“The 100% rates relief extension into March 2022 also recognises how businesses are continuing to find their feet as we make our way out of the pandemic.

“The billions given to businesses demonstrates what the Scottish Government can do with the limits of devolution, only with the full powers of independence will the full potential of Scotland’s businesses be realised.”