The Scottish budget: what it means for businesses

The Scottish Government has set out its budget plans for the year ahead.

The Draft Budget includes new investment in public services, as well as new measures to support business, jobs and economic growth.
Here’s why the Scottish budget means businesses get the best deal anywhere in the UK.

  • Scotland’s businesses will benefit from an expanded Small Business Bonus Scheme – taking 100,000 businesses out of rates altogether – and a reduction in the business rates poundage to maintain our competitiveness.

  • To support more businesses – particularly start-up companies – with the potential to grow and export more, the new Scottish Growth Scheme will provide up to £500 million over three years of investment guarantees and some loans.

  • A £4 billion investment in our infrastructure will support 30,000 jobs. This investment will begin the delivery of 50,000 new affordable homes, energy efficiency measures and improved digital connectivity.

  • Small and medium sized enterprises will benefit from EU investment worth £40 million. Funding will give companies access to microcredit finance up to £25,000, loans up to £100,000 and equity investment up to £2 million. A trade body that encourages investment in young, innovative Scottish companies will also be supported by the funding.

  • Broadband access will be delivered to at least 95 per cent of premises by the end of 2017 And, we’ll reach 100 per cent by 2021.

  • Skills, training and employment in Scotland will be supported by a £221 million investment. And, 2017-18 will see the next stage of our expansion to 30,000 Modern Apprenticeship new starts a year.

  • Reducing the burden of Air Departure Tax by 50 per cent by the end of this Parliament will create the potential to improve our international connectivity and help Scotland access key and emerging markets.

  • The Scottish Government has set out a plan to keep Scotland in the European Single Market – protecting our economy, trade, jobs and living standards. By contrast, a Tory hard Brexit, outside the single market, could cost Scotland 80,000 jobs over a decade and people an average of £2,000 in wages. 

  • To promote investment and support Scottish exports, the number of people working for Scottish Development International across Europe will be doubled.

  • New funding will also establish and embed Innovation and Investment Hubs in London, Brussels, Dublin, and Berlin. These hubs will attract investment to Scotland and help Scottish firms access new markets.
  • Scotland’s manufacturing base will be supported through the Manufacturing Action Plan and a new manufacturing centre of excellence and skills academy.
  • A further £35 million will be provided to Scottish Enterprise to support businesses through the Scottish Investment Bank.
Watch: the 7 things you need to know about the Scottish budget.