The SNP have confirmed that if re-elected the government would continue to support small businesses in Scotland by continuing with their successful Small Business Bonus (SBB).
Over the last 4 years the scheme has seen business rates being reduced or removed completely for some 80,000 Scottish businesses, helping them to take on some 40,000 employees.
Scotland’s leading business organisation, the Federation of Small Business (FSB) with almost 20,000 Scottish members, welcomed the pledge. Andy Willox OBE, the FSB’s Scottish Policy Convenor said:
“The FSB is now arguing that the SBB should be retained and expanded so that more Scottish small businesses reap the benefits. It will be 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.”
Pointing to the success of the scheme over the last four years Willox explained:
“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.”
As the UK economy shrinks the SBB scheme will throw a lifeline to many small business and the communities they support. The importance of having a thriving small business sector is that profits are kept within the local community whereas large corporates such as supermarkets see family budgets going through tills and then the profits going straight to institutional shareholders who have no links to the community in question.
Small business owner Eric Rae, of E Rae & Son, an electrical contractor in Turriff in Banffshire, said:
“The small businesses bonus scheme has been very good for my business as it is for all small businesses.
“The reduction the small business bonus scheme gives is helping in these difficult trading times to keep firms trading, and makes you feel appreciated and valued for the contribution we make to the local community.”
The main opposition party, Labour, are opposed to SBB scheme. On each of the occasions when there has been a vote on the SBB in Holyrood, Iain Gray’s party has voted against it.