Scotland will not be able to move to net-zero carbon emissions and deliver inclusive growth without the backing of the nation’s 340,000 small and medium sized businesses, a business leader has warned.

Ahead of the Federation of Small Businesses’s annual dinner next Thursday, the federation revealed official statistics which show that 1.2 million Scots – about half of the private sector workforce – are either employed by a smaller businesses or are self-employed.

FSB’s Scotland policy chair Andrew McRae said: “No matter whether we like it or not, change is coming to Scotland’s smaller business community. Scotland’s political parties agree that dramatic action needs to be taken to reduce carbon emissions by 2030.  We need to defuse the demographic time-bomb of our ageing population.  And who knows what the outcome of the General Election will mean for our relationship with the EU. 

“Smaller businesses can neither be insulated from this change, nor swept away by it. And because smaller businesses operate in every corner of the country, generating half of all private sector jobs, they can help local communities adapt to whatever comes next.

“But we must not stretch Scottish smaller firms’ adaptability to the limit. At every turn, decision-makers must realise that every business isn’t a multinational and every penny spent adapting to one thing can’t be spent preparing for another.”

The annual dinner, at Glasgow’s Grand Central and sponsored by FSB Insurance Service, will attract around 300 guests, including business owners and decision-makers. Award-winning Scottish young entrepreneur Liv Conlon and comedian and commentator Ayesha Hazarika will address the event.

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McRae said: “Over 2019, the FSB in Scotland has bolstered its reputation as the most relevant business voice in the country. On top of our outstanding services – like our legal advice line – we’ve ensured that decision-makers understand the issues which matter to our members.”



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