Half of Scots private sector work in small companies

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has revealed statistics that show that 1.2 million Scots – about half of the private sector workforce – are either employed by a smaller businesses or are self-employed.

The news came as the FSB warned that Scottish firms should “prepare for unsettled trading conditions as governments take action on climate change and the country grapples with a series of major challenges” ahead of its annual dinner next Thursday, November 7.

The FSB said Scotland won’t be able to lower emissions while delivering inclusive growth without the support of the 340,000 or more Scottish small and medium sized businesses.

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.”

FSB’s annual dinner, taking place in 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.

This year FSB launched successful campaigns to ensure smaller firms get a fair share of public contracts, argued for new action to boost Scotland’s town centres, and highlighted the contribution of migrant entrepreneurs to Scotland’s economy.

The membership group has also been pressing Scottish Ministers to retain important rates support for smaller firms.