FSB unveils five ways Scottish Government budget can boost business

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has today unveiled five steps the Scottish Government can take to address the cost of doing business crisis.

The plan states that the Scottish Government’s budget for the next financial year should:

  1. Collate and repurpose any unspent Covid-19 support funding for those businesses most in need of support.
  1. Continue the Small Business Bonus Scheme and deliver targeted support for smaller firms in sectors hit hardest by the ending of the temporary Covid-19 rates relief schemes.
  2. Relieve regulatory pressures by fully assessing the potential business impacts of any forthcoming regulations and postpone any non-essential changes that would place additional strain on businesses.
  3. Require the Scottish National Investment Bank to reach a target of lending 20% of its annual investments to small and micro businesses.
  4. Get maximum value from public spending by introducing binding targets for increased government spend with micro businesses.

FSB’s Scotland Policy Chair, Andrew McRae, said: “This could be a make or break budget.  With one in six small firms looking at shrinking, selling-up or closing, they need to be given as much breathing space as possible.

“You can never underestimate the tenacity and determination of small businesses to survive.  But the forces currently ranged against them – from rising costs, to exhausted reserves, shaky consumer confidence and late payments – do pose a real risk.

“We therefore need to free small businesses, who already support over a million jobs and contribute £68 billion to the Scottish economy, to drive the growth the nation needs.

“That’s why these plans will help the Scottish Government support those businesses most in need, free firms from unnecessary regulation, make overheads a bit more manageable and make investments easier.

“Ultimately, we need a budget that makes the trading environment conducive to survival and growth and we look forward to discussing in greater detail in the weeks ahead.”