Small businesses are vital for our economy, they form the backbone of our economy and they are vital in terms of spreading economic growth beyond the cities and into our smaller towns like Abergavenny, Chepstow, Caldicot, Monmouth and Usk. If we want our small towns across Wales to be thriving, then we have to support small businesses. Business rates are a burden – they account for a far greater proportion of operating costs for a small business than they do for large businesses.
A Plaid Cymru government would extend the rate relief scheme that we implemented in Government so that it covers all businesses whose rateable value is £15,000 or less. Some 83,000 businesses would see a reduction in their business rates as a result and more than 70,000 businesses across Wales would be taken out of the rates system altogether - this would cost £35 million.
Plaid would raise the money, which would go towards paying for this, by mirroring the business rates system, as it currently exists in England where large businesses pay more than small businesses. While larger businesses would pay more, they would still pay less in Wales than they would across the border. The extra money raised through the increased bill for large businesses would raise more than enough to cut bills for small businesses