SmALL businesses in the Borders have benefited from a rate bill savings of £13.7 million over the last four years according to Paul Wheelhouse (SNP) MSP for the South of Scotland.
He goes on to add that the annual saving has risen to £4.2 million over the last financial year.
Figures show that the Small Business Bonus has cut business rates bills across Scotland by more than £419 million since the introduction of the scheme in 2008 and the support package offered by the Scottish Government to small business remains the most generous available within the UK.
Paul said: “Non-domestic rates have been a key policy area we have taken evidence on in the Parliament’s Finance Committee. These figures from the Small Business Bonus Scheme are crucial in showing the Scottish Government’s commitment to helping small businesses through tough economic times.
“For Scottish Borders businesses alone to have saved £13.7 million in non-domestic rates is a huge boost to efforts to protect jobs and to enable businesses to resume growth in the context of an economic headwind. There is a tough economic climate out there and the Federation of Small Business survey, which states the scheme is helping almost one in seven recipients to stay solvent, firmly backs that assessment up.
“The UK technically re-entered recession in the first three months of this year, although as Scottish Chambers of Commerce identify they have reason to believe Scotland has fared better over this period. However, we must continue to work to support our local businesses across the Scottish Borders to maximise the prospects of recovery and I would strongly encourage all small business proprietors to ensure they make use of the Small Business Bonus scheme.”
The Scottish Government has introduced an opt-in non-domestic (business) rate deferral scheme for 2012-13.
Under this scheme rate paying businesses in Scotland will be able to defer payment of part of the increase in their 2012-13 business rates bills.