FSB: Scottish Budget Must Focus on Growth

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is calling on the Scottish Government to use tomorrow’s Budget Statement to focus on giving small businesses room to breathe and space to grow.

FSB Scotland Policy Chair, Andrew McRae, said: “There won’t be a wider economic recovery until there’s a small business recovery.  With the cost of doing business crisis biting hard, this will be one of the most important Scottish Budgets for small businesses.  We must free firms from unnecessary or poorly designed regulation, make overheads more manageable and make business investments easier.

“With margins wafer-thin, if in existence at all, and reserves long-exhausted, small businesses need some financial breathing space.  That’s why we need to freeze the business rates multiplier, continue the Small Business Bonus Scheme and deliver targeted support for smaller firms in sectors hit hardest by sky-high energy prices and the ending of the temporary Covid rates relief schemes.  Ministers could do worse than look closely at the package the Welsh Government unveiled this week, which aims to do just this.

“At the same time, we need to pause any regulatory changes that would place additional strain on businesses – at least until we are out of recession.

“We also need to boost growth, by allowing small businesses to adapt and take advantage of business opportunities.  That might mean making the planning system more responsive or making more affordable finance available by, for example, directing more of the Scottish National Investment Bank’s investment budget to SMEs.

“The growth that will get us out of recession will come from hundreds and thousands of individual small businesses trading, adapting, employing and serving their communities.  It’s the job of every sphere of government to make this as easy and affordable as possible.”