CARRICK SNP MSP Adam Ingram has welcomed the release of figures regarding rates relief and small businesses.
Across Scotland small businesses have saved over £400 million in rates relief since the SNP launched its flagship Small Business Bonus Scheme.
The figures, revealed this week in a parliamentary Answer, also show that 2011/12 was a record-breaking year for the SBBS, with local authorities across Scotland benefitting from over £130m in rates relief.
Locally in South Ayrshire there has been a £10.4 million overall saving for small businesses over the past four years which Mr Ingram has said is testament to the huge importance that the SNP Government has placed on helping small businesses during tough economic times.
In South Ayrshire the savings awarded to businesses were; £1.7 million in 2008-09, £2.6m in 2009-10 and £2.9m in 2010-11, £3.1m in 2011-12. Over the period 2008-11 the savings were £10.4m.
Mr Ingram said: “These figures show how much of a difference the SNP Government has made to over 80,000 small businesses across Scotland in difficult financial times.
“I am particularly pleased to see that South Ayrshire businesses have made huge savings over the four year period. This assistance has gone some way in ensuring small businesses and the local South Ayrshire economy has survived in spite of the UK Governments cuts.
“Anyone speaking to small businesses will know what a fragile environment they operate in. A Federation of Small Business survey from 2009 - conducted during the teeth of the recession - suggested that the SBBS was helping one in eight recipients stay solvent.
“Just this week we have seen that the UK has technically re-entered recession - although we don’t know yet whether this is the case in Scotland, there is no doubt that we must do all we can to support local economies across Scotland.
“That’s why I’m delighted that SNP Councils have pledged to work with the Scottish Government to protect the Small Business Bonus for the lifetime of this Parliament.”