Scotland Has Lowest Rate of Business Growth in UK

4th January 2018.

Scotland’s struggling economic performance has been exposed in new figures showing a record-low number of new businesses in the region.

According to official statistics, Scotland is boasting the lowest business growth rate in the UK, with the numbers of businesses failing each year far outweighing those that are created.

Business experts are warning the Scottish Government that urgent measures are needed to turn around the country’s economy.

Colin Jones, a partner at the accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young insists that Scotland’s poor business growth rate is the result of political uncertainty, with anxiety over Scottish independence and Brexit putting people off from starting their own business.

Mr Jones added: “Creating a new business is a high-risk decision and entrepreneurs need an environment and business framework that is stable, encouraging and predictable.”

The Scottish Conservatives are further urging for more support for business start-ups, drawing particular attention to the Scottish Government’s Business Gateway scheme where new ventures are hitting an eight-year low.

According to official figures, 8,746 new businesses received help from the organisation in 2016-17, a 15 per cent drop from 2009.

The Scottish Government have defended their scheme, however, claiming that it aided 10,679 business startups in 2016-17 and created 11,000 jobs. The Government rejects responsibility, however, insisting that as the scheme is funded by local authorities, it is them that need to determine spending.

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