Small Business Bonus Scheme or Relief self-catering business exclusion: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

Documents/minutes relating to the Scottish Government's decision to exclude self-catering businesses from the scheme for £10,000 grants for small businesses in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme or Rural Relief being offered as part of the Covid 19 crisis.


1. As you may be aware, since you made your request the decision was taken to include selfcatering premises in the Business Support Grant Scheme, if receipts represent a primary source (for example, one third or more) of earnings for the ratepayer and the property has been let out for 140 days or more in financial year 2019-20. Local Authorities may specify any additional evidence they require (for example, records of bookings, a copy of public liability insurance cover or a website) in order to confirm eligibility. This is information is set out in a published guidance on the grant scheme at the following:

1. While the aim of the Scottish Government is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because exemptions under section 30(b) (i), of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) applies to that information. The reasons why these exemptions apply are explained at the bottom of this letter.

1. An exemption under section 30(b) (i) of FOISA (free and frank provision of advice) applies to some of the information you have requested. This exemption applies because disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially the free and frank provision of advice. This exemption recognises the need for officials to have a private space within which to provide free and frank advice to ministers before the Scottish Government reaches a settled public view. Disclosing the content of free and frank advice would substantially inhibit the provision of such advice in the future.

1. An exemption under section s.38 (1) (b) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. This exemption applies to data that it is considered to be the personal data. This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’.
1. The Scottish Government does hold a number of documents that fall within the scope of your request. Where the content of a document pertains to information that is not considered within the scope of your request, this information has been redacted. I have enclosed PDF attachments of the documents that fall within the scope of your request. I have attached below a table of the documents that have been provided to you. The dates listed are those of the most recent correspondence in an email chain. Note that an initial forwarding email will feature at the top of any correspondence in order to overcome a quirk of the Scottish Government archive system.

Table of Documents

16 March 2020 Correspondence – 16 March – 12:40
17 March 2020 Correspondence – 17 March – 08:05
18 March 2020 Correspondence – 18 March – 10:34
20 March 2020 Correspondence – 20 March – 14:10
20 March 2020 Correspondence – 20 March – 15:03
24 March 2020 Correspondence – 24 March – 16:03

The table below is an excerpt from analysis which is also referred to in a number of the correspondence.

TABLE 1 – Number of properties by class

The table shows the number of properties rounded to the nearest 10.





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FOI-2020000022930 - Information released


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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