Falkirk District's small firms save thousands under the SNP

Angus MacDonald welcomes SNP's commitment to small firms

New figures on the Small Business Bonus show the SNP’s focus on small businesses as being essential to Scottish growth has saved thousands of pounds for firms in Falkirk district in the first two years of the scheme.

With figures for the bonus on 2010-11 still to come in, Falkirk district’s small businesses have saved an average of £2801 each during the recession as a result of the SNP’s small business bonus.

The figures were released by Finance Minister John Swinney in response to a Parliamentary question

Welcoming the figures the SNP’s Economic Development spokesperson at Falkirk Council and SNP Candidate for Falkirk East Councillor Angus MacDonald said:

“This is excellent news for businesses in Falkirk East.

“In 2007 the SNP recognised that Scotland’s small businesses had been neglected for too long.  Small and medium sized firms are a vital part of Scotland’s economy and we must work together to support them.

“The small business bonus has helped keep corner shops, town centre shops and small manufacturing firms open during the recession and now has a key role to play in ensuring Scotland recovers strongly.

“While other parties argued against the bonus the SNP is well aware of the importance small businesses play in communities, as employers and in creating growth in our economy. Unfortunately Cathy Peattie, Falkirk East's Labour MSP has continually opposed the Small Business Bonus and has voted against it at every opportunity. I would therefore challenge her to explain exactly what Labour would have done to help these firms through this difficult period caused by Labour's recesssion. In truth, Labour have no answers and are simply carping from the sidelines and attacking what has been to date an extremely successful intitiaitve. My fear is that Labour would abolish the Small Business Bonus if they were returned to power.

“Businesses in Falkirk district have saved an average of £2,801 in the first two years of the scheme with another year’s bonus available this year.

"While there are serious budget cuts heading to Scotland from Westminster it is imperative that the Small Business Bonus scheme is sustained. I know from speaking to many recipients of the Small Business Bonus in Falkirk East that it has made a tremendous impact at a difficult time for retailers and manufacturers.

“The Small Business Bonus is one of the few direct financial measures the Scottish Government can take within its current powers to help boost our economy.  It is a sign of what more could be done to support Scotland’s economy and offer an alternative to the dismal decade of cuts ahead if the Scottish Parliament had the full responsibilities of financial independence.”

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Kemfine UK has been sold to Munich-based Aurelius AG

Kemfine UK has been sold to Munich-based Aurelius AG for an undisclosed sum.

The Grangemouth business, part of the Finnish-based KemFine Group, produces chemicals in the agrochemical and pharmaceutical sectors.

The UK arm had sales of £41million in 2009 and employs around 200 people at Grangemouth.

Welcoming the announcement the SNP’s candidate at the forthcoming Scottish Parliament election, Grangemouth Councillor Angus MacDonald said:

“The acquisition of Kemfine by German firm Aurelius is extremely welcome news for Grangemouth in the current economic climate and helps secure the long-term prospects for the Grangemouth plant.

“Aurelius has a good track record in committing to long-term projects in previous acquisitions, which bodes well for the future of the Grangemouth plant and will be of great comfort to the 200 employees at the Grangemouth plant.”

Angus MacDonald Calls for Airdrie Savings Bank to Consider Falkirk District in Expansion Plans

Angus MacDonald Calls for Airdrie Savings Bank to Consider Falkirk District in Expansion Plans

Following the news that a group of prominent Scottish businessman including Brian Souter and Sir Tom Farmer are ploughing £10 million into the Airdrie Savings Bank - Scotland’s last independent bank – to allow the Lanarkshire bank to expand and lend more to businesses, the SNP’s Economic Development Spokesperson at Falkirk Council, Councillor Angus MacDonald has written to the bank’s president Bob Boyle and the bank’s General Manager Jim Lindsay urging them to consider opening a branch in Falkirk district as part of their expansion plans.

Councillor MacDonald, who is also the SNP’s Scottish Parliamentary Candidate for Falkirk East said:

“Given Falkirk district’s close proximity to the bank’s current area of operation, a move to a neighbouring area such as Falkirk will hopefully be uppermost in the bank’s expansion plans.

“In addition, given the dismal performance of our national banks, and their continued refusal to fully engage with local businesses, I am sure businesses and individuals the length and breadth of Falkirk District would welcome a branch of the Airdrie Savings Bank, which represents what Scottish banks once stood for – security of funds, a focus on savings and outstanding personal service.”

“It is refreshing to see a bank, particularly a local bank, engage positively with the business community.”

The group anticipates widespread interest from individuals and businesses across Scotland in opening accounts with Airdrie Savings Bank – Scotland’s last independent bank.

The location of the first additional branch is still to be determined but Jim Lindsay, general manager of Airdrie Savings Bank, said the choice will be influenced by local demand.

He commented: “We are considering a number of locations but we would obviously like to open our first branch outside of Lanarkshire in a town or city where local people and businesses would welcome a traditional bank that has
a low risk focus and puts customers first.

“We have, therefore, created a section on our website that allows people and businesses outside of Lanarkshire to register to open an account. Interested parties can register an interest on our website.”

To register an interest in opening an account visit www.airdriesavingsbank.com

Airdrie Savings Bank has seven branches in North Lanarkshire – Airdrie, Coatbridge, Motherwell, Shotts, Bellshill, Muirhead and Baillieston.

It was established in 1835 as a mutual as part of the “thrift” movement and even today allows accounts to be opened with a deposit of only 5p.

Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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