Nightclubs and soft play centres that have been closed by law since March are to benefit from targeted funding.
One-off grants of up to £50,000 will be available to businesses in both sectors through the COVID-19 Contingency Fund. Grants will be based on rateable value.
Businesses operating multiple premises will be eligible to claim one full grant plus grants of up to 75% on subsequent properties.
Guidance will be published this week to help soft play centres prepare for re-opening when it is safe to do so.
The guidance has been developed in partnership with clinical experts, regulators, trade unions and industry representatives.
Funding has been made available for soft play centres and nightclubs through the £11 million COVID-19 Contingency Fund.
This is part of the package of more than £40 million support for businesses affected by the latest COVID-19 restrictions.
Premises will not be eligible if they have opened at all since March – for example by changing their licence to open as a pub – and awards may be reduced if companies successfully apply to the Cultural Organisations and Venue Recovery Fund.
Responding, Dr Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:
“This new funding support for clubs and soft play centres provides an essential lifeline to important areas of the economy that have forced to remain closed since the start of lockdown.
“These businesses are facing great difficulties and this support from the COVID-19 Contingency Fund addresses some of the gaps we have identified in business support schemes so far. It almost goes without saying that it is vital these grants are now rolled out as quickly as possible.
“It is very positive that, at last, we will have guidance on when soft play centres might be able to reopen. Not only will it be a great boost for parents and carers of young people, but the sector has been Covid-safe for some time and deserves the opportunity to begin trading again.
“We urge the Scottish Government to continue to work with these businesses to support the safe reopening of soft play centres, to protect the jobs and livelihoods within the sector.”