Scotland's Economy

Scottish Business Buzz (07.12.16)

£5m investment for Peterhead fishing port from Scottish Government and European and Maritime Fisheries Fund.

The £5m investment will allow Peterhead Port Authority to expand the floor space of its fish market by 50% and bring together key services and facilities so fleets can complete port calls quicker.

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “Scotland’s fishing industry is a vital part of our rural economy with our fishing fleet generating £437 million last year.

“We are strategically-placed to have the best fishing industry in Europe and the Scottish Government is committed to doing all it can to make that a reality.

“That’s why our priority continues to be pursuing all options to protect Scotland’s relationship with the EU as nearly half a billion pounds worth of seafood is exported to Europe and why we have been vocal that leaving could mean losing both a market and a source of vital funding.”

Read more.

Calls for rise in small business support

Chairman of Scottish Enterprise Bob Keiller has said that scaling companies represents one of the biggest opportunities for Scotland’s economy. According to Scottish Enterprise a true scaling company has an annual turnover of more than £10m but with the capability and ambition to grow rapidly to a turnover of £100m and beyond.

The problem is there aren’t many of those in Scotland.

SMEs make up 99.3 per cent of all private sector enterprises, yet all too often their contribution is eclipsed by the scaling companies. And the support they get is seen as contradictory at best, and disdainful at worst.

Scalable companies get glorious headlines and one-to-one, account-managed support while SMEs get Small Business Saturday once a year and struggle for recognition of their economic and social contributions.

Elaine Burns is co-founder of e-commerce platform Wear Eponymous. She says Small Business Saturday is a great initiative, but there needs to be a real effort to shift thinking towards what we can do for smaller businesses all year round.

“Collectively, SMEs, micros and sole traders play a huge role to support the Scottish economy, but despite our numbers we really struggle for recognition of our combined efforts and our economic and social contributions.

“Support, targets and an advisor who is the perfect fit for your industry is essential, with regular planning and working towards strengthening weaknesses and nurturing strengths.”

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Scottish film makers waiting for green light from Scottish Government for Scottish film studio

A statement from the Association of Film and TV Practitioners Scotland (AFPTS) said the government should approve the pending Pentlands Studios plan as soon as possible.

The AFPTS, which represents more than 1700 producers, directors and technicians, said: “Initially projected for a decision in February, then April 2016, the

appeal process has been affected time-wise by both the national election and Brexit vote in June.

“AFTPS sincerely hope Scottish Ministers will close business for 2016 with a positive decision in support of Scotland’s screen industries and the desperate need for an international filming facility, which will put Scotland on a par with other countries across the globe.

The statement adds: “The international market demand and native screen industries are desperate for a decision on the planning application for Pentland Studios – please support our industry and celebrate 2017 as the dawn of a new era in film and television for Scotland.”

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Nikki Morris-Laing, VisitAberdeenshireVisitAberdeenshire launches initiative to help tourism businesses in north-east

The “A Shared Story for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire” toolkit will be supplied to businesses free of charge so that they can deliver consistent marketing messages to potential visitors in order to inspire them to come to the region and move beyond the city’s perception as an “oil and gas capital”.

The toolkit offers suggestions and tips on how businesses can use common themes, words and phrases, imagery and tone in their marketing materials.

Nikki Morris-Laing, marketing director of VisitAberdeenshire, said: “The most successful tourism destinations have a simple story to tell. The ‘Shared Story’ toolkit gives a way of describing the area with a few simple themes and messages.

“It’s important that we identify and all work towards marking out our unique and special qualities to attract an increasing proportion of Scotland’s visitors to our region.

Read more.

Mark Tiffney, of Dynamic Core Studios Clydebank looks towards changes we can make ahead of 2017.

Rather than a tip, this week I’d like to pose a question.

Which of these 2 are you?

Person A “Christmas is approaching, I’ve got lots of parties, night’s out, lunches etc not to mention the shopping and family visits. There’s no point in starting a fitness programme or joining a gym now. I’ll wait until January”.

Person B “If I make a start now, even if it’s not optimal, I’ll be leaner, healthier and fitter for the festivities meaning I can enjoy a little indulgence guilt free and start the new year on a positive note rather than one of guilt and low self-worth causing me to set unrealistic resolutions.”

You may be neither exactly, but think about it. Don’t say which one you want to be, which one ARE you? If it’s the latter, fantastic. But most people are more in the Person A camp.

So, let me ask you this.

Do you look at your business that way?

Do you consider the fact that many businesses are closed between Christmas and New Year a reason to do nothing now? Or are you more of the view that, there is a big gap coming up where productivity will fall, so you need to double your efforts to get on top of things BEFORE the break?

Interestingly most people will fall into the latter camp here.

Your business is important. It’s your livelihood. It’s your baby. But where your business is important, your health and well-being are CRITICAL to every aspect of your life. So why do you continue to treat yourself as an afterthought? Why, when it comes to your business or your home life, do you put your critical elements (rent, taxes, utilities etc) first but with your health you put the indulgencies before your health?

Take 10mins, think about last year. Did you start January full of promises of things to change? How much of that did you follow through on? Did you wake up at any point last December saying, “never again!”? If at any point you’ve wished you hadn’t indulged as much as you did, you are a person A.

Life is for living and enjoying. But if that enjoyment is followed by regret, then you didn’t take part under your own free will. You were a slave to your emotions.

Take back control this year. Think about things before they overwhelm you. 10mins now could make a lifetime of difference. So please, at some point today, take 10mins and reflect on your choices and, let me know any a-ha moments that hit you. I’d love to hear them.

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About the author

Rhona Middler

Rhona was Business for Scotland's Engagement Executive and Events Manager.

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