Stirling and Scottish Businesses Need Our Support
Local MP Alyn Smith has welcomed fresh insight into business confidence, following a quarterly update from the Small Business Confidence Index (SBI), from the Federation of Small Businesses.
Research has demonstrated an uplift in business confidence from the beginning of 2022, rising from -22 points to +14.3 – yet confidence is still far suppressed in comparison to the same time period last year. Whilst 46% of businesses report an increase in revenues, higher operating costs across energy, raw materials, inflation and other inputs have resulted in significant pressures.
The report goes on to state that nine in ten business owners across Scotland (88%) say their running costs have increased over the past 3 months – two-fifths of respondents report by more than 10%.
Stirling MP Alyn Smith said:
‘The work of the FSB and other industry partners is absolutely integral to policymakers, and helps build a deeper understanding of the day-to-day realities for our small-to-medium sized businesses. Stirling has a whole host of fantastic outlets and enterprises, but just like elsewhere increasing costs and complexities are weighing down economic growth, job creation and fresh investments in our high streets and city centre.
‘Higher energy costs and raw material spikes, as well as rampant fuel costs and inflation, are weakening businesses just as much as customers and households. The UK Government must do more to address these ongoing challenges to enterprise and support our highstreets. Local councils and the Scottish Government too have a clear responsibility to strategise, engage with industry and deploy the resources at their disposal to build the communities we want to see.
‘Brexit and the pandemic may have knocked everyone’s plans – but people are looking to politicians now to focus on economic growth and recovery. We can’t let them down.’
The full report can be found here.