SNP MSP Derek Mackay is using Small Business Saturday to encourage locals shop locally. Mr Mackay, who is also Scotland’s Finance Secretary, was speaking as he visited local retailers during a day long tour of small businesses across his Renfrewshire North & West constituency.
The MSP visited small businesses in Renfrew, Kilmacolm, Bridge of Weir, Erskine, Houston and Bishopton, including Peacock Motor Engineers in Renfrew and New Vision opticians in Bridge of Weir.
Small Business Saturday boosted takings by £717m last year in Scotland, and with research showing that money spent locally is more likely to stay in the local economy, a key aim of the campaign is to encourage lasting, year-round support for small businesses.
There are 4,685 small businesses in Renfrewshire, employing 28,430 workers, and 1,710 in Inverclyde employing 9,610 workers.
Many local small businesses currently benefit from the Scottish Government’s Small Business Bonus Scheme (SBBS), with recent figures show the number of Renfrewshire properties receiving) relief has increased from 1797 to 2665 since it was first introduced nine years ago, with the total amount of relief being given to local premises almost trebling from £2.3miliion to £6.6million.
Last month Mr Mackay confirmed he will be writing to ratepayers who are potentially eligible for the SBBS but not claiming it.
Mackay said: “Ahead of Small Business Saturday I’ve been visiting local retailers across my local constituency to show them my support and also listen to any concerns they may have.
“Small businesses are the backbone of the local economy and account for 99% of all businesses across the country. This supports jobs and growth in our communities as well as providing an invaluable service to consumers.
“Since 2009, the SNP Government’s Small Business Bonus Scheme has provided over £45million rates relief to Renfrewshire’s businesses, helping support local jobs and growth in our community.
“Renfrewshire and Inverclyde has a huge variety of brilliant locally run businesses with Peacocks in Renfrew and New Vision in Bridge of Weir being just two examples. With research showing that money spent locally is more likely to stay in the local economy, it is beneficial to us all to shop locally and support our local businesses.”