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.” Finance Secretary John Swinney said:

"Scotland's small businesses have a vital role to play as we look to sustain economic recovery and build our economy for long-term success.

"The Small Business Bonus Scheme is continuing to help tens of thousands of small Scottish companies, with average annual savings of over £1,400 - money which can now be invested in those businesses.

"With increased thresholds introduced this year even more firms will be able to reap the benefits."

The Small Business Bonus Scheme (SBBS) was introduced by the Scottish Government in April 2008 to provide non-domestic rates relief for small companies in Scotland.

Eligibility for SBBS relief is determined on the basis of rateable value (RV) of all properties within a business. Business properties with an RV of up to £8,000 were eligible to pay no rates at all in 2009-10. For the current year, this 100 per cent relief now applies to properties with an RV of up to £10,000. The threshold for 50 per cent relief was increased from £10,000 to £12,000, and for 25 per cent relief from £15,000 to £18,000.

In addition to the uplift in thresholds, the scheme was expanded from April 2010 to allow a business with two or more properties with a cumulative rateable value of £25,000 or less to qualify for relief of 25 per cent on individual properties with rateable values of up to £18,000.

Other types of non-domestic rates relief include:

* Charities relief (including community amateur sports clubs)
* Empty property
* Disabled persons relief
* Rural rates relief
* Religious property
* Renewable energy generators

Any business which considers they may be eligible for SBBS or any other relief should contact Falkirk Council’s Finance Department to discuss and request an application form.

Note:

Details of the Parliamentary answer can be found here:  http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/Apps2/Business/PQA/default.aspx?pq=S3W-36102

Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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