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31/10/13 15:30

Small businesses urged to sign up for tax relief

Minister for Enterprise writes to eligible businesses not claiming.

Enterprise Minister Fergus Ewing is urging small businesses, eligible for business rates relief, to start claiming.

Mr Ewing visited the Highland Bottle Shop, King Street, Inverness on Friday, November 1, to meet with the store’s owners, who are benefiting from Small Business Bonus Scheme (SBBS) business rates relief.

During his visit Mr Ewing confirmed that he has written to potential eligible businesses not yet claiming the bonus, urging them to sign up.

Figures published on Wednesday, October 30, show record numbers of business properties in Scotland are benefiting from SBBS.

Over the past five years the number of recipients has increased by 44 per cent from 64,179 in 2008-09 to 92,381 in 2013-14. The increase is as a result of an expansion of the scheme under the current government and greater awareness.

The latest figures show the Small Business Bonus Scheme will save recipients an average of £1,668 in 2013-14 and reduce the business rates tax paid by Scottish businesses by £154 million in 2013-14, an increase from £144 million in 2012-13.

Mr Ewing said:

“Scotland’s businesses, such as the Highland Bottle Shop in Inverness, are receiving a real benefit from the Small Business Bonus Scheme. Over 92,000 recipients will save an average of £1,668 this year as a result of our investment in supporting small business.

“This is good news, but there are still premises in Scotland eligible for the Small Business Bonus which are not benefiting from these savings. I have written directly to relevant small business owners urging them to check eligibiligy for the scheme.

“The success of our small and medium sized businesses is integral to the success of our overall economy. That is why the Scottish Government is committed to maintaining Scotland as the most competitive place to do business.”

Highland Bottle owner, Nick Lyon said:

"Our shop opened for trading at the start of the year - in a week dominated by national retailers closing. We have been very grateful for the savings from the Small Business Bonus Scheme, especially given the ever increasing fuel, utilities and delivery costs we face in the Highlands.

“I believe the Small Business Bonus Scheme demonstrates that the Scottish Government not only understands and listens to small business but values the contribution to our towns and cities that small businesses can and do make."

Itinerary

3.30pm Minister arrives at 45 King St, Inverness IV3 5DG

4.15pm Minister departs

During the visit you will have the opportunity to interview/photograph Mr Ewing.

Notes to editors

The full SBBS statistical publication can be accessed at:

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Local-Government-Finance/NDR-Rates-Relief

As of March 2013 there were 340,840 small and medium-size enterprises operating in Scotland, employing an estimated 1.1 million people.