>> 15 March 2010

Gordon MSP Alex Salmond and SNP Gordon Westminster Candidate, Richard Thomson, have hailed the expansion of the Scottish Government’s Small Business Bonus Scheme as a ‘recession busting’ measure for the North East.

The Scottish Government is expanding the existing Small Business Bonus Scheme to enable more small businesses to qualify for a discount on their tax bills. As a result, over 200,000 small businesses throughout Scotland may be eligible for a cut, saving each as much as £4,000.

Under the new, expanded scheme that comes into affect on the 1st of April 2010:

  • businesses with a rateable value of £10,000 or less will have their business rates abolished. In Aberdeenshire, this will happen for 6,889 businesses.
  • businesses with a rateable value between £10,000 and £12,000 will have business rates halved. In Aberdeenshire, this will happen for 395 businesses.
  • businesses with a rateable value between £12,000 and £18,000 will have their business rates reduced by a quarter. In Aberdeenshire, this will happen for 714 businesses.
  • businesses with small chains of properties with a cumulative rateable value under £25,000 will have their business rates reduced by a quarter.
Mr Salmond said:

“Uptake for the small business bonus scheme has been very encouraging since we introduced it in 2007. These figures show the scale of the Scottish Government's commitment to help Scotland's small businesses - the beating heart of our economy.

“This is a recession busting measure, and I’m very happy that we’ve now been able to expand the scheme in this way.”

Mr Thomson added:

“Many of the local business people I meet tell me that the scheme has made a big difference to them – whether by freeing up cash to pay other bills, being able to keep staff on or through investing elsewhere in the business.

“One of the concerns voiced about the scheme was that businesses with more than one property often weren’t able to claim. I’m pleased that the government has listened, and has now put businesses with multiple properties on the same footing as any other eligible business.

“Small businesses are key to the wealth and prosperity of our towns and villages. Together with the Council Tax freeze, this is another example of how the Scottish Government is helping people through the economic downturn.”

Businesses can find out if they are eligible for a rate cut by contacting Aberdeenshire Council:

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