An MSP has claimed that the SNP is the “party of business” after figures revealed the number of private sector firms in Scotland is at a record level.
Statistics published by the Scottish Government show the number of private sector businesses operating in the country has risen by more than a quarter since 2007 (279,940) to a total of 356,550 in 2019.
The figures, dating back to the start of the new millennium, indicate the number has risen steadily each year since 2000.
SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson criticised opposition parties at Holyrood after they voted to amend the Non-Domestic Rates Bill.
Following the decision, finance secretary Derek Mackay accused Tory and Labour MSPs of voting to withdraw nearly £300m of relief in a “move that would devastate Scottish business”.
“Scotland’s businesses are thriving and the rise has been driven in particular by the success of our small business start-ups,” said Mr Gibson.
“The SNP is absolutely committed to helping businesses to start up and grow, and our small business bonus scheme is helping support record numbers reduce their rates bill.
“We are the party of business. A majority of Scottish businesses benefit from the lowest poundage anywhere in the UK and incentives that only exist in Scotland.
“But plans to ditch this support would deliver a body blow to Scottish business and would put at risk the delivery of local services. The Tories and Labour must reverse on this disastrous move at the final stage of the bill.
“These figures hit home that the SNP is the only party that will stand up for Scottish business.”