The Scottish government has announced that its Small Business Bonus Scheme (SBBS), which offers discounted rates for eligible small businesses, will continue through the year and into 2017.
The SBBS offers rate reliefs for firms with non-domestic properties with a combined rateable value of up to £35,000. Those with business properties with a combined rateable value of less than £10,000 may be exempt from paying anything.
Savings of £174m
Since its launch in 2008, SMEs throughout Scotland have saved many thousands of pounds thanks to the scheme. Total savings have increased from £68m in 2008-2009 to £174m in 2015-16, with an average saving of £1,751 per property last year.
Lesley Robertson, director of Greenock-based small business Seatrek Marine Service, said: “Increased sales along with the savings from the Small Business Bonus Scheme have given our business a real lift. The money we saved on rates allowed our business to expand. We have moved into larger premises whilst retaining our smaller one for training purposes. Without the small business bonus this would not have been possible.”
100,000 businesses benefiting
Announcing the retention of the SBBS, Deputy First Minister John Swinney highlighted that almost 100,000 business premises in Scotland pay zero or reduced rates under the scheme.
“The Scottish Government is committed to supporting our small- and medium-sized businesses that are so integral to the success of the economy,” he said.
“That is why we have pledged to retain the Small Business Bonus Scheme and why we recently legislated to enable local authorities to further reduce business rate bills, on top of schemes such as this, to ensure that we maintain Scotland’s reputation as an excellent place to do business.”