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New figures released by the Scottish Government have revealed that 4,500 businesses in South Lanarkshire have been helped by the Small Business Bonus Scheme.

The Small Business Bonus Scheme, established by the Scottish Government in 2008-09 and expanded by successive SNP administrations, aims to provide business rates relief for thousands of businesses throughout the country.

To date, the Small Business Bonus Scheme has saved businesses in Scotland almost £1.5 billion, providing rates relief to relief to almost 104,000 recipients in 2017-18 alone.

Answering an oral question from MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, Christina McKelvie, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution, Derek Mackay MSP revealed that 4,500 businesses in South Lanarkshire have benefited from the scheme, saving a collective £73 million since the scheme was introduced.

Commenting on the rates relief, SNP MSP Christina McKelvie said:

“This is outstanding news to hear that over 4,500 businesses in my constituency have benefited from the Scottish Government’s Small Business Bonus Scheme.

“Collectively, businesses throughout Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse and beyond have saved over £73 million since the scheme was introduced.

“This news comes in addition to the work achieved by the Hamilton town centre action plan from myself and Angela Crawley MP.

“This is just one of a number of ways the Scottish Government is providing for businesses and workers throughout the country. From rates relief to the providing the real living wage, the Scottish Government is leading the way in fair work and thriving businesses.

Commenting on the news, Gareth Walker, Hamilton Business Improvement District Manager said:

“The Small Business Bonus Scheme is having a real effect on the viability of businesses in the town.

“When combined with the recent rates revaluation, we now have 201 properties in the BID area that qualify for 100% rates relief.

“This has a huge impact for many of our local independents and it  also acts as an incentive to new businesses looking to relocate to the town.”