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Request for further support to Scotch Whisky industry during pandemic


The SWA suggest whisky businesses will need further support to help them through a time when production has been scaled back, with one distillery saying its centre amounted to 70% of its revenue.


An SWA spokesman said: "The sweeping support measures set out by the UK and Scottish governments are welcome and offer important reassurance to business.


"There are, however, areas where more targeted support would benefit Scotch whisky producers, especially small distillers and those who also run visitor centres, shops and cafes which have had to close.


"As currently set out, many distilleries will continue to pay full business rates, despite some sites relying heavily on the income from visitor centres.


"We have called on the Scottish Government to extend the business rate relief and grants package to ensure that whisky distilleries are covered.''


It has been suggested by SWA that a suspension of excise duty payments for at least six months would give ”much-needed breathing room” to distillers.


The industry has already had reports of a drop-off in sales in Europe, Asia and North America.

The Scottish Government has pledged to support businesses with a package of measures worth £2.2 billion.


It includes a full year's 100% non-domestic rates relief for retail, hospitality and tourism and £10,000 grants for firms in receipt of the small business bonus scheme or rural relief.


A Scottish Government spokesman said: "In this public health crisis it is vital that all businesses align fully with the social distancing measures introduced to protect the nation's health, well-being and economic future.''


You can read more on the SWA’s website HERE.

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