MacDonald hails SBB announcement as 'Tremendous news' for Falkirk's economy
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 16:51
SNP set out future for small business bonus
£450 Million package for Scotland's small businesses
The SNP’s Economic Development spokesperson Councillor Angus MacDonald has welcomed confirmation that a re-elected SNP Government will continue to support Scotland’s small businesses with the £450 million Small Business Bonus through the next Parliament as we work to protect the role of small businesses in our economy. In Falkirk district no fewer than 1579 small businesses have so far had their rates cut or abolished entirely under the SBBS. Of those, 1325 have had their rates removed altogether. The average saving for a small business in Falkirk district over the first two years of the SBBS has been £2801.
At a national level the Small Business Bonus has delivered £450 million of support to Scotland’s small and medium enterprises over the last 4 years, reducing or removing business rates for 80,000 business and supporting small business in taking on 40,000 new employees – matching employment amongst larger firms.
Yesterday, SNP Deputy Leader and Scotland’s Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the SNP would maintain the £450 million of support for over 80,000 small businesses throughout the next Parliament to support jobs and our economy as she challenged other parties to do the same.
Welcoming the announcement, SNP Economic Development spokesperson and SNP Candidate for Falkirk East, Councillor Angus MacDonald said:
“This is tremendous news for small to medium sized businesses the length and breadth of Falkirk district. Falkirk district’s small businesses are the cornerstone of our local economy here in Falkirk district and are at the heart of our communities.
“The Small Business Bonus has helped over 1500 local small businesses stay afloat through the recession and has seen small business take on employees that they could never have considered had the SBBS not been in place.
“A re-elected SNP Government will protect the Small Business Bonus. We will invest £450 million over the next four years in giving our small businesses the break they need and the competitive edge that will help them grow.
“Labour have never supported the Small Business Bonus. It is crystal clear that the only way to maintain this support for small business is with a re-elected SNP Government investing in Scotland’s economy.”
Local retailer Les Burkey of Daisy Chain in Grangemouth welcomed the news that the SNP Government will continue the Small Business Bonus scheme saying:
"As an Independent Retailer within the Town Centre of Grangemouth I, like many other businesses, will clearly benefit from any assistance available. We have been able to benefit from The Scottish Governments Small Business Bonus Scheme which has enabled us to reinvest the money we have saved back into our business making us more competitive, and giving our customers a better choice. Without this scheme and the fact that the Scottish Government is prepared to help & assist small businesses is the fine line between having a small business or not".
"I am pleased that the SNP is pledging to keep the scheme as without it small businesses will undoubtedly suffer."
Andy Willox OBE, the Federation of Small Businesses’ Scottish Policy Convenor said:
“The introduction of the Small Business Bonus was a first step toward a fairer Scottish business rates system. The FSB has no doubt that since its introduction in 2007, the SBBS has made the difference between success and failure for hundreds of small businesses and new starts squeezed between the banks and big business.
“The FSB is now arguing that the Small Business Bonus should be retained and expanded so that more Scottish small businesses reap the benefits. It will be the Scotland’s smallest businesses that will create the jobs and opportunities the country needs – it is more important than ever that this vital lifeline is retained.”
Key Small Business facts:
1. The Small Business Bonus is helping over 80,000 small businesses in Scotland. An eligible business saved on average £1,440 in 2010/11 with a
maximum saving of £4,100.
2. The FSB manifesto states: “It should be acknowledged that the SBB has made a real difference to thousands of Scottish businesses. Indeed, according to 2009 research, around one in four of our members now don’t pay rates due to this scheme, while many more receive a significant discount. Our members attest that the SBB eased cash-flow worries when bank lending was constrained, late payment was rife and bad debts increasingly common. We have no doubt it made the difference between survival and failure for many.
3. Small businesses are an important driver of job creation in the Scottish economy. Between March 2007 and March 2010 small businesses (0-9 employees) created over 40,000 private sector jobs in Scotland, a similar amount to the number of jobs (43,000) created by large companies (250+ employees).
4. Labour do not support the SBB. On each of the occasion when there has been a vote on the SBB, Labour has voted against.
5. An SNP Government will continue to support the 80,000+ small business that the SBB for the next parliament at a total cost of £450 million. The SBB is vital to the continued stability and growth of the small business sector and to the important role that the small business sector plays in creating and supporting jobs.
6. Small businesses are the backbone of the Scottish economy, and the 2011-12 Budget includes provision for a £10 million package to support employment creation and the growth of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in 2011-12. This programme will be focused on encouraging small firms to take on new employees by assisting with their recruitment costs, and also helping to support exporting opportunities.
7. In Falkirk no fewer than 1579 small businesses have so far had their rates cut or abolished entirely under SBBS.
Of those, 1325 have had their rates removed altogether.
The average saving for a small business in Falkirk over the first two years of the scheme has been £2801.