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Support for small business

Published: 13 Jan 2017 10:06

Small Business Bonus Scheme exempts 100,000 properties from business rates this year.

More than half of all commercial properties will pay no business rates in 2017-18, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said today.

As a result of the Small Business Bonus Scheme (SBBS) an estimated 100,000 small business premises in Scotland will pay no business rates in 2017-18.

The SBBS has already saved small businesses over £1.2 billion since the scheme was introduced in 2008.

In the Draft Budget Mr Mackay announced that the SBBS will be expanded, raising the eligibility threshold for 100% relief to a rateable value of £15,000 – lifting 100,000 properties out of rates altogether, and generating a saving of up to £6,990 per property.

Visiting Mad Hatter’s Coffee House in Paisley, which will now qualify for 100% relief through the SBBS, Mr Mackay said:

“This government has consistently delivered a competitive environment for business and we have used our tax powers to support growth.  Not only have we ensured that smaller businesses pay zero or lower rates of non-residential LBTT, large businesses enjoy a lower rate than the rest of the UK.

“I was pleased to set out a range of further measures in the Draft Budget to confirm a highly competitive business rates regime for Scotland in 2017-18, including expanding the Small Business Bonus Scheme.

“Scotland’s small businesses are fundamental drivers in securing sustainable economic growth, which is why we are doing everything we can to support them.  Scotland already offers the most competitive reliefs package for small businesses in the UK, and we intend to keep our promise that Scotland will be the best place to do business anywhere in the UK.”

Background

In the 2017-18 Draft Budget, Mr Mackay also announced that the business rates poundage will be reduced by 3.7 per cent to 46.6p.

The independent Assessors’ provisional 2017 revaluations can be searched at www.saa.gov.uk, subject to confirmation when revaluation notices are posted out in March.

An external review (led by Ken Barclay) is exploring how business rates can better reflect economic conditions and support growth.  This is due to conclude this summer and the Government will respond swiftly.