Scotland's Economy

Scottish Business Buzz (19.10.16)

screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-15-19-29Scotland’s businesses “scenario planning” for independent Scotland.

Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Keith Brown told those in Scotland’s corporate community at a recent gathering that he was aware of businesses re-evaluating the attractiveness of the 2014 indyref on the basis of an independent Scotland within the EU, if the rest of the UK was to leave.

Lucy O’Carroll, Chief Economist at Aberdeen Asset Management, reflecting on the change in the debate, said: “My observation would be that the 2014 vote was on the basis of a move from a status quo position of remaining in the UK and therefore in the EU. A status quo position is no longer available to us.

“We are choosing between two uncertain futures, but ones that are quite different from each other.”

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screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-15-26-02Draft referendum bill due for Scotland in wake of Brexit vote

A draft referendum bill is due this week for public consultation from the Scottish Government, as Nicola Sturgeon pushes for a special deal for Scotland as UK looks likely to depart with a hard Brexit.

The First Minister told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show: “We are going to put forward proposals, that we would hope that the UK Government would be prepared to listen to, that would allow Scotland to preserve its place in the single market and preserve aspects of its relationship with the EU.”

If Scotland were in a single market based on free movement of people and the rest of the UK was not, it would means different immigration regimes across the border.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell said it was “difficult” to see how the SNP’s single market plan could be achieved, but he would listen to any proposals that came forward.

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screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-15-30-06Social Enterprises – a fairer and more inclusive way of doing business

The impact of Scotland’s social enterprises is significant: the first ever Social Enterprise Census (2015) revealed there are more than 5,000 social enterprises employing more than 112,400 people, with £1.15 billion in combined traded income. Together, they add £1.7bn to the Scottish economy.

Susan Aktemel founded Impact Arts almost 25 years ago, a social enterprise before social enterprises were a thing, the organisation she started as a sole trader became a national charity. But for Susan it simply made sense to run her organisation on a commercial footing, to put the profits back into the company and into activities aimed at making a difference.

Her philosophy? If your business can make you a living and make a difference to people, why would you do it any other way?

“There is a convergence of mainstream business and social enterprises,” said Aktemel. “Companies are looking to do good with profits. The more it happens, the more it will happen.”

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screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-15-35-43Dundee and Inverness airports see passenger numbers rise in 2016

Highlands and Islands Airports (HIAL) saw passenger numbers rise above 900,000 for the first time over the first half of 2016.

Inverness Airport, where HIAL is headquartered, has reported “outstanding” performances on its new airline services connecting the Highland capital to London and Amsterdam. Passenger numbers at Inverness from April-September were 456,778 compared with 376,092 for the same period last year – up 21% (80,686).

Dundee Airport has seen a near doubling in passenger traffic with numbers increasing to 24,466 in 2016, compared with 12,791 for the same period last year.

The Tayside airport launched a new Flybe service to Amsterdam Schiphol in May, with growth on the London Stansted route also attracting additional customers.

HIAL Managing Director Inglis Lyon, said: “Inverness Airport is up 21% in the year to date, which we believe is one of the strongest performances of any European airport. The initial BA flight numbers are encouraging and are further evidence of the significance of Heathrow as a UK hub for Scotland.

“The ability to fly direct to two of the world’s greatest airports enables people in the Highlands to make international connecting flights quicker and more efficiently than ever before. These services offer tremendous opportunities for tourism and for business throughout the region.”

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Get Enough Sleep – Part 2 

Mark Tiffney, of Dynamic Core Studios Clydebank highlights the importance of getting enough sleep.

Last time I covered some basic reasons why sleep should be a high priority. But as the father of a 2 year old, I know only too well that isn’t always within your control. So I wanted to give a few tips to deal with some issues that come up to try and improve or manage things.

Firstly, there’s a lot you can learn from children, such as having a bedtime routine. Your body likes consistency and will take cues if you give them frequently. So switching off the TV, computers and mobiles 20-30mins before bed will put your body in a better position to sleep. Keep the lights low and when going to bed, aim for complete darkness.

Sometimes your brain then goes into overdrive thinking about things that need done. Use that last 20-30mins to write them down (on paper) which will not only make you more prepared, but it will release them from your mind more easily and let you relax.

Otherwise, take the time to do some breathing exercises (the Headspace app can be useful) or read a book. But try to stick to something informative rather than stimulating fiction.

If you still struggle to get to sleep, contrary to popular belief, carbs may be your friend. About an hour before you plan to sleep, have something high in carbs. A piece of fruit, a handful of popcorn or similar. The result will be a little burst of energy, then a crash (see my previous piece on the 3pm crash) which will make you sleepy, only now it’s useful as you actually want to sleep.

Assuming you still don’t get enough sleep, the thing that will work against you the most will be a lack of oxygen. To manage fatigue, rather than hitting the coffee, up your water intake (which contains Oxygen) and do some deep breathing exercises.

My suggestion:

Sit upright, close your eyes, breath out fully, then breath in for as long as you can (count how long it takes), whatever the count, hold your breath for 4 times as long and then breath out for double the

initial time. So, as an example, if you breath in for a 5 count, hold for 20 then breath out for 10. Repeat 5 to 10 times.

Reprise through the day as needed.

Hopefully you find some of these ideas helpful.

Until next time – sleep well and stay healthy.

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About the author

Rhona Middler

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

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