Increase in confidence amongst small businesses in Scotland

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Small businesses in Scotland showed an increase in confidence in 2012 and 27 per cent of companies expect trading prospects to be stronger in the next three months compared to the previous three.

Dennis Robertson, deputy convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, welcomed the new research by the Federation of Small Businesses.

It shows Scotland experienced a less severe recession in 2011-12 than the UK did as a whole and companies were “substantially more confident” in the last quarter of 2012 compared to 2010 and 2011.

But it highlighted the most significant causes of increasing running cost was fuel and utility – both reserved issues.

Mr Robertson, SNP MSP for Aberdeenshire West, described the report as “positive” and “encouraging”.

Mr Robertson acknowledged the difficulty many businesses were experiencing with increases in fuel and utility costs, and argued that both should now be devolved.

He added: “These are both currently reserved issues but it is clear Westminster is failing to deliver what Scotland needs. It’s time we made our own decisions, based on what is best for our own economy.

“In Scotland, the SNP Government is doing all it can in this area, with people benefitting from the Small Business Bonus Scheme.

“Over 85,000 properties now benefit from SBBS and the most generous package of reliefs anywhere in the UK.

“These measures ensure Scottish businesses have a real competitive edge but we must continue to work hard to deliver sustainable economic growth.”

The FSB report can be found here
http://www.fsb.org.uk/policy/rpu/scotland/assets/publi_scottishindex_q42012.pdf