SNP do nothing to sustain shopkeepers and small business owners

Balloch where small businesses are under threat.

By Lizzie Healey

The number of small or medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) supplying goods and services to the Scottish government has halved under the SNP, Scottish Labour can reveal.

In a letter to Scottish Labour MSP Jackie Baillie, the Finance Secretary revealed 1,502 SMEs supplied the Scottish Government in 2007-08 but that figure had fallen by 52 per cent to just 716 in 2017-18.

The figures follow research from the Federation of Small Business which revealed that only about a fifth of Scotland’s £12 billion procurement budget goes directly to small businesses, even though they account for 98 per cent of Scotland’s business community.

Scottish Labour MSP Jackie Baillie said: “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, but these vital firms are being left short-changed by the SNP.

“The Scottish government should be using local companies to reinvest public money into our communities instead of relying on multi-national corporations to supply them.

“We need to transform the procurement system in Scotland.

“The next Scottish Labour government will overhaul government grants like Regional Selective Assistance to support Scottish small businesses, delivering jobs and growth, and we’ll ensure the full spending power of public contracts supports Scottish jobs.

“Scottish Labour will invest in our people, industries and communities – and that means backing small business.”

Meanwhile, in Balloch on Loch Lomondside, small tourism-related businesses claim they too are being put to the wall by the SNP-run West Dunbartonshire Council.

The Council have turned down the local traders’ pleas to find another solution to accommodate the extensive renovation and refurbishment work being done to create a new village.

The Council has said it will simply close some streets as and when the works require it, but the shop owners say   there is no need to do that and that an arrangement should be made to keep traffic moving through the village.

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