Scotland's Economy

Scottish Business Buzz 20.01.16

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 10.08.07Business for Scotland called on the Chancellor George Osborne to scrap an anti-entreprenurial plan to enforce the submission of four tax returns a year.

While the plan may be well intentioned it is administratively unworkable.

Ian McDougall, co-founder of The Glasgow Distillery and BfS finance spokesman covered in The Herald, said: “I’m in the fortunate position of being able to view this from two sides – that of an accountant who stands to benefit from increased business as a result of the proposed legislation and a business owner who stands to lose, due to what is time-consuming, unwarranted bureaucracy and additional costs.

“The truth is, this is unnecessary red tape that will inflict additional costs on small business owners.

“It will act as a disincentive to entrepreneurs, people considering becoming self- employed and very small businesses, who will be hit worst as they are the least able to afford the time, cost and frankly the stress that will accompany this proposed legislation.”

Full BfS press release.

Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 09.47.22Scottish businesses are being urged to ‘help build a fairer Scotland’.

From a Better Business study published yesterday (19 Jan) into responsible business practices in Scotland conducted by Social Value Lab and delivered in partnership with Firstport, CEIS and the Scottish Business Awards.

The research included a nationwide survey of over 1,000 businesses across Scotland, in-depth interviews with 34 business leaders and CEOs and detailed case studies illustrating good practice.

Over half (52%) of the business leaders said that there was a clear business case for investing in the community, social and environmental issues but almost a third (29%) felt that the sole responsibility of the company was to maximise profits.

9 out of 10 Scottish companies felt that they were delivering on their social and environmental responsibilities, but the study concluded that there was still a long way to go in Scotland in areas such as representation of women in senior positions and involving staff in decision making.

Find out what the Deputy First Minister said on the issue in Business Quarter.

Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 09.52.04Dundee’s £100m Central Waterfront infrastructure plan is to be completed ahead of schedule.

The original infrastructure plan was due to be completed by the end of summer 2016 but is now on track to be completed by the end of February.

The redevelopment which includes the Slessor Gardens, a new road layout, access to the Tay bridge and preparatory works for the creation of fully serviced development sites, is part of the £1bn transformation of Dundee’s 8km Waterfront Project.

The project will create 7,000 new jobs and provide a wide range of new opportunities for young people seeking training and employment.

More on this story.

Screenshot 2016-01-12 12.31.05Business for Scotland called on Westminster to rethink the decision to rule out the post study work visa (13 Jan) attracting significant coverage in The Herald.

It was agreed as part of the Smith Commission that there would be a consultation on the possibility of reintroducing the Post Study Work Visa (PSWV) to Scotland. However, the proposals had seemingly been blocked by the Scottish Secretary David Mundell without consultation and before the Scottish Affairs Committee looking into it had the chance to report on their findings.

The Scottish Secretary has since backed down on the issue (Tues 19 Jan) after coming under intense scrutiny on the PSWV, which was credited with attracting talented students to Scotland and boosting the economy when it ran from 2005 to 2012.

Mr Mundell appeared before the Westminster Scottish Affairs Committee yesterday (Tues 19 Jan) saying that while there was no intention to reintroduce the former visa scheme, other improvements could be considered.

The Committee is currently undertaking an inquiry into the possibility of introducing a formal post-study visa in Scotland.

Press Releases: BfS Calls on Westminster to RethinkBfS Welcomes PMQs Intervention

Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 10.14.58Digital development is the key to improving Scotland’s productivity, says report.

The report on Digital Solutions To The Productivity Puzzle, calls for senior appointments cross the public and private sectors to provide stronger digital leadership.

Recommendations are also made on business transformation, data, skills and infrastructure and joint work to drive up digital adoption, usage, benefits and skills across the Scottish business base.

The research identified that development in Information and Communications Technology have been a key driver of productivity, but that the impact in the UK has fallen behind the US and European counterparts.

It has been estimated that if Scotland became a digital world leader GDP would increase £13bn by 2030, compared to £4bn with only incremental improvements.

Article from The National.

Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 10.47.05The number of businesses launching in Edinburgh and Glasgow increased by 13% in 2015 and almost 12,000 businesses were launched throughout the year.

Edinburgh and Glasgow occupied the fifth and sixth spots in the UK wide table for the number of start-ups during the year.

The figures have been significantly boosted by a rise in universities, banks and governing bodies choosing to invest in the nation’s wealth of entrepreneurial talent.

Start-ups continue to invest in Scotland.

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About the author

Rhona Middler

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

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