APPROXIMATELY £420 million in rates relief have been awarded across local authority areas since the introduction of the Small Business Bonus Scheme (SBBS) in 2008, Enterprise Minister Fergus Ewing said today.
A breakdown of savings by council area was published, showing the biggest savings were recorded in Glasgow (£44.9 million), Edinburgh (£41 million), Highland (£27.1 million), Fife (£26.4 million), South Lanarkshire (£21.3 million), North Lanarkshire (£20.6 million) and Aberdeenshire (£20.6 million).
SBBS is only part of a relief package worth over £500 million this year, under which almost three out of five properties or 57% of premises in Scotland pay reduced or zero business rates.
Enterprise Minister Fergus Ewing today visited one of the firms in the Highland area – Dalcross Logistics – that benefits from rates relief under SBBS.
Established in 2004 the locally owned firm offers airline cargo handling services at Inverness Airport. The company also provides worldwide freight forwarding, courier delivery, and exports various items such as live seafood, wildlife, and medical samples. Since 2008 Dalcross Logistics has saved £13,250 through the SBBS.
Mr Ewing said:”The Scottish Government is committed to retaining Scotland’s position as the most supportive and competitive environment for business in the UK. The Small Business Bonus Scheme (SBBS) is just one example of how we are making a positive difference and these figures highlight the benefits to our local economies throughout Scotland.
“Dalcross Logistics in Inverness is just one of over 85,000 properties that now benefit from SBBS as part of the most generous package of reliefs anywhere in the UK – a figure which represents two out of every five commercial premises in Scotland.
“SBBS and other reliefs combined give Scottish business a real competitive edge. When we look at the number of recipients by local authority area, this shows the significant benefits recorded in local economies in areas including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Highland, Fife, South Lanarkshire and North Lanarkshire.
“We have committed to continue the Bonus Scheme for the life of the Parliament, providing long term stability to Scottish SME’s, so that they can contribute to Scotland’s economic success and growth. Businesses could save up to 4,500 pounds this year ”
Director of Dalcross Logistics David Hourston said: “For a small business such as ours, the introduction of SBBS has been extremely welcome. Since 2008 we have saved over 13,250 pounds in business rates and, at a time when business has been lean, this has enabled us to continue to afford the expensive training that allows us to maintain our Department for Transport Regulated Agent status and therefore continue our day to day business. So significant has the SBBS been to our business, that I would encourage others to check their eligibility.”