Two hundred per cent increase in bonus scheme uptake

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Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan, has welcomed new figures which show a record number of businesses in the Western Isles are benefiting from the Small Business Bonus Scheme.

The Small Business Bonus Scheme was introduced in 2008 and allows small and medium sized businesses to save up to £4,800 a year in business rates.

The uptake on the scheme has steadily increased each year to the point where there are now over 1,200 businesses in the Western Isles benefiting.

This represents a 200% increase in the number of businesses utilising the scheme since its first year in 2008.

Alasdair Allan commented: “The Scottish Government has put a great deal of effort in to supporting small businesses during some of the most turbulent economic times in living memory.

“They are absolutely vital to ensuring sustainable growth, which is why it is right the Scottish Government does what it can to support them.

“With over 4,500 people being employed here in the Western Isles by businesses of less than 50 people, small businesses are an integral part of our economy.

“In the Western Isles we have three times the number of businesses now benefiting than when the scheme started. This is a larger increase than anywhere else in Scotland and has played an important role in boosting island employment.

“The First Minister has made it clear that the Small Business Bonus Scheme will continue throughout the term of the next parliament if the SNP are re-elected.

“We will remain focused on creating jobs, boosting local growth and helping local communities thrive.”