>> 29 March 2011


Leader of the SNP and SNP candidate for Aberdeenshire East, Alex Salmond, joined activists on Saturday in his home constituency of Aberdeenshire East to visit small businesses which have benefitted from the Small Business Bonus.

With Labour consistently voting against the Small Business Bonus over the past four years the party has said the only way to protect the rates reduction for 80,000 small businesses was to re-elect the SNP Government in May.

The SNP's commitment to small business has saved the average firm £1,440, with some firms saving over £4,000 this year. Backed by the small business bonus, Scottish businesses have created 40,000 jobs in three years.

A re-elected SNP Government will keep the small business bonus going with £450 million of investment to support our local firms, high streets and new businesses.

Commenting Mr Salmond said:

“In 2007 this community showed Scotland the way by voting for the SNP to become Scotland’s Government.

“Over the last four years, with the support of people in this area, we have made great progress towards building a better future for Scotland. At this election we stand with the best team, the best record and the only real vision for the future of this country.

“Locally, under an SNP Government we’re seen huge steps forward in the area. The recent announcement of the dualling of the A90 between Balmedie and Tipperty, will create a continuous dual carriageway between Ellon and Aberdeen and we’ve also made huge progress in solving the notorious bottleneck at Inveramsay Bridge, with the design contract now awarded. The Inverurie Inner Relief Road, which will transform the town centre, has also made significant progress. The figures say it all – since the SNP came to power there are 256 more nurses in Grampian, 236 more affordable homes in Aberdeenshire, 824 modern apprenticeships provided in Aberdeenshire and 5 new schools completed in Aberdeenshire.

“The SNP’s small business bonus has been of particular help in communities across the area, helping to support local town centres, the beating heart of our economy.

“The businesses here in Ellon are just some of the 80,000 firms and local employers across Scotland which have had their rates slashed or abolished by the SNP Government. It is one of our core achievements of our first four years in Government and has had a huge impact for small firms.

“The SNP's commitment to small business has helped protect jobs in tough times and kept Scottish business on the go during the recession. In Ellon, support from the small business bonus has kept this town centre thriving and the SNP’s commitment to maintain this welcome assistance will reassure businesses in the face of Tory and Lib Dem cuts.

“A lot has been achieved – in fact, 90% of our headline manifesto commitments have been delivered. With the continued support of people in Aberdeenshire East we have the vision to build on the work of the past four years. Together, we can make Scotland better. In May, vote for a Scottish Government working for Scotland. Vote for an SNP Government.”

Chairman of the Ellon Trader Association and owner of “Delicious Sandwich” takeaway and coffee bar, Tracy Gibb said:

“People come to me as the Chairman of the Traders Association for advice in starting up new businesses in the area and it can be extremely hard to get your foot in the door. The small business bonus has been invaluable in giving new businesses that extra help to get up and running.

“The VAT increase has been a damaging hit on turn over and the fact that the SNP has reduced or abolished rates has really helped temper that.

“It’s so important to support the small businesses which bring our town centre alive and the small business bonus has boosted our local business community and our town.”

Owner of “The Flower Shop”, Linda Rae added:

“The small business bonus has been a massive relief during the recession. Rates were a noose around our neck and the small business bonus means we are free to make a profit and keep our business afloat.”

Owner of Mackenzie Kilts, Moira Ironside, added:

“It’s been really hard going for small businesses but having our rates abolished means we have one less bill to pay. Things are really picking up. We’ve been in business for 13 years and now we will hopefully be here for 13 more.”


SNP Support for Small Business
  1. A re-elected SNP Government will protect the small business bonus with a £450 million investment
  2. This year the SNP Government is providing £10 million of support to help Small Businesses take on new employees - helping with administration costs and support.
  3. We will set up a new unit backed by the Government and Scottish Enterprise to help small and medium sized firms win public sector contracts
  4. We are helping small and medium sized Scottish firms win contracts building the new Forth Bridge
  5. And we have ensured 75% of government contracts go to small and medium sized firms

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