An expansion of a rate relief scheme for small firms will help exempt more than half of all commercial properties from business rates, finance secretary Derek Mackay has said.
Businesses with a rateable value of up to £15,000 will qualify for 100 per cent rate relief through the small business bonus scheme, up from the previous cut-off of £10,000.
Mackay announced the measure in the draft budget and said it would free 100,000 properties from paying rates, saving up to £6,990 per property.
Visiting Mad Hatter’s Coffee House in Paisley, which will now qualify for 100 per cent relief through the scheme, 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 land and buildings transaction tax, 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.”