Newly published statistics show that more businesses than ever before in Falkirk have seen their rates bills abolished or substantially reduced thanks to the Scottish Government’s Small Business Bonus Scheme.

Across Scotland, there were 89,087 businesses in receipt of the rate relief scheme in 2012/13, up from 85,199 in 2011/12 and an increase of 5%. Small businesses in Scotland are benefitting from £144 million of rates relief in the current financial year, up from £131 million last year.

In Falkirk district the number of businesses benefitting has increased steadily from 1,365 in 2008 to 1,879. In monetary terms local businesses have had their rates bill abolished or reduced to the value of over 3.3 million pounds, more than double the 1.6 million pounds value in 2008.

Welcoming the growing benefits of the scheme Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson said:

“The Scottish Government’s Small Business Bonus Scheme has been an essential lifeline to local businesses across the length and breadth of Scotland.

“With 3.3 million pounds worth of rates relief for 1,879 businesses in Falkirk that is a significant sum of money being retained in the local economy and helping to keep businesses going in tough times.

“The fact that there are now more businesses than ever before benefitting from the scheme is fantastic news and a sign of the Scottish Government’s commitment to supporting Scotland’s business sector through these difficult times.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and the support they have received is an demonstration of what can be done when the Scottish Government is free to set its own economic policy.

“With the powers to manage our own economy in an independent Scotland, we will be able to do even more to support businesses in Scotland and secure jobs and recovery.”