More Scottish firms ‘should benefit from bonus scheme’

The Scottish government wants more companies to apply for help through the Small Business Bonus Scheme.

Under the scheme companies owning properties with a rateable value of less than £15,000 can apply for an exemption of up to 100 per cent.

However, John Swinney, finance and sustainable growth secretary, claims more could be done to help firms benefit from relief on their business rates, pointing out that almost 94,000 small enterprises in the country are eligible.

Swinney reveals that the scheme helped more than 64,000 companies in its first year of operation, reaching 80 per cent of those eligible, but says the relief could be gained by more organisations.

He comments: ‘The tough trading conditions businesses are facing makes it even more important that we reach those not taking advantage of the Small Business Bonus Scheme.’

The minister adds that the Scottish government will examine the problem of small firms which cannot apply for business rate relief because they have multiple properties, in the hope of finding new ways of helping them.

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