FSB: Firms need guidance to unlock economy and save jobs

The Scottish Government has today published a four-phase plan to ease lockdown restrictions.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) welcomed the news that some businesses could return to trading from next Thursday if they made adequate provisions to protect workers and customers.

But FSB pressed Ministers to provide as a matter of urgency, clear, realistic guidance to all businesses about the steps they should take before re-opening.

Andrew McRae, FSB’s Scotland policy chair, said: “Today’s publication is the first step required to getting our economy moving and ensuring as many Scottish businesses as possible make it through this crisis. We welcome this progress and the news that some operators may be able to re-open from next week.

“It looks likely, however, that many businesses will be required to make adjustments to their workplaces before the shutters can come up. But at the moment there’s little guidance for firms in Scotland regarding what those alterations might be.

“While the First Minister said today that this guidance is coming in the days ahead, there is no time to lose. There can be no further delay in getting this vital information out the door in a format that’s easy to understand. In addition, smaller businesses may require an advice service to help them make appropriate changes.

“While we recognise that this is a public health crisis, it is also an economic crisis. With a third of closed Scottish businesses unsure if they’ll reopen, local firms need to know that Scottish policymakers want them to succeed. The Scottish Government needs to put smaller firms at the heart of their plans for recovery.”