Businesses across Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire are tens of millions of pounds better off thanks to a flagship government policy.

Latest figures show the Scottish Government’s business rates relief scheme has seen enterprises in Renfrewshire save over £150million across 3,000 local firms, with a further 885 in East Renfrewshire saving a total of £36m.

The information was gleaned from data collected between 2009 and 2017.

All commercial and non-domestic properties must pay the tax but the relief programme has meant small businesses and other qualifying firms which meet the scheme’s criteria have seen the financial burden eased.

Finance secretary Derek Mackay, who is also MSP for Renfrewshire North and West, said: “The SNP is delivering the most competitive business rates relief package in the UK, saving businesses in Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire £189million in the last seven years.

“That is money which can be re-invested in supporting jobs, increasing salaries of workers, keeping prices competitive or possible expansion of small local retailers.

“Since coming to office, the SNP Scottish Government has taken strong action to support business growth and jobs, helping to keep money in our neighbourhoods and boost our high streets.

“Only the Scottish Government is taking the necessary action to help our local firms – and it is great to see thousands of firms benefitting from rates relief in 2016 – a figure that will likely rise with the new measures I introduced in this year’s budget.”

East Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce also praised the scheme.
A spokesperson said: “Small businesses have been struggling and the increase in relief was a positive move.”

The stats do not include the 7,000 businesses that do not pay rates due to having a rateable value of zero or the properties that qualify for 100 per cent rate relief through new schemes such as Day Nursery Relief and Business Growth Accelerator Relief.

The Scottish Government is continuing to lessen the pressure on local businesses with further changes, including a freeze on the rates of all improved premises for the first year, and all new premises exempted from rates payments until occupied.