It goes without saying that the effect of the pandemic on many Scottish businesses has been catastrophic.

No more so than the retail, hospitality, leisure and aviation sectors, which appear to have been hardest hit. As we all struggle to come to terms with cancelling our holidays, family celebrations and the customary trip to our favourite coffee shop on a Saturday...it is the businesses in these key sectors that have been looking for financial support from the Scottish Government in order to help them survive this challenging period.  

Following the announcement from finance secretary Kate Forbes, the Scottish Government has now set out plans to extend the business rates relief for the retail, hospitality, leisure and aviation businesses (including newspaper offices) to extend to the full financial year of 2021/2022.

This is an update to the initial extension of three months announced last month.

This plan has been welcomed by groups such as the Federation of Small Businesses and The Scottish Licensed Trade Association as being a "much-needed lifeline".

Let's just hope that this goes far enough to help these businesses weather the storm until the re-opening of these sectors can safely start.