Scotland's Economy

Scottish Business Buzz (26.10.16)

screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-10-02-17Scotland’s largest digital festival comes to Glasgow. 

A collaboration between ideas agency Equator and Digital Meetups, techaus, is coming to Glasgow on Friday 11th November 9am-5pm.

With the theme ‘Ideas for a Connected World’, the event will join local businesses with industry leaders and give digital agencies an exciting, creative space to share ideas.

The event will feature workshops and inspirational talks from high profile companies including Spotify, Skyscanner and IBM, all themed around creativity, engagement, skills, disruption and vision.

Book tickets here.

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screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-10-47-01£60m fund to grow Scottish small businesses

The fund, which will come from the European Regional Development Fund, will benefit over 20,000 businesses and help to create thousands of jobs.

According to Economy Secretary Keith Brown, smaller companies in Scotland account for around 1 million jobs in the country, and the investment from the European Regional Development Fund will enable SMEs to have access to the help that they need in order for them to grow.

Brown described it as “a fantastic opportunity to support our SMEs – the engine of the Scottish economy.

“This investment shows exactly why the best way to guarantee jobs, investment, services and projects across the country, is by maintaining Scotland’s relationship with the EU.”

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screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-10-52-52Heathrow expansion “must benefit Scotland” says SNP transport spokesman

In Scotland, the SNP welcomed the news of a third runway for Heathrow, saying it would lead to “16,000 jobs across Scotland”. The Scottish Government have been given an assurance by bosses at Heathrow that publicly owned Prestwick Airport will be considered for use as a “logistics hub” during construction work.

The decision was taken by a cabinet sub-committee, who chose Heathrow over plans for a second runway at Gatwick. The new £17.6 billion plan comes almost 50 years after ministers first made the case for airport expansion in the south-east.

The SNP’s transport spokesman Drew Hendry said the expansion “must benefit Scotland”.

“The UK Government must ensure that when this does eventually get approval Scotland gets a fair deal from the process. We should see a commitment on route investment, guarantees to Scottish cities and an equitable share of any public spending that might be accrued coming to Scotland,” he said.

Scottish Green MSP John Finnie was sceptical of the decision: “What is perhaps a surprise is the Scottish Government’s support for today’s decision, given that it does nothing to advance social justice. Wealthy frequent fliers will benefit, as they will from Scottish Ministers’ desire to cut Air Passenger Duty.”

Glasgow Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stuart Patrick said: “We have long championed the expansion of Heathrow as the UK’s hub airport, and are convinced it is the best decision for Glasgow, for Scotland and for the UK as a whole.”

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screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-10-59-10New national board created to stimulate enterprise

Following the first phase of the review of enterprise and skills services, which the Government hopes can help see Scotland among the top performing OECD nations, Economy Secretary Keith Brown unveiled the creation of a new Scotland-wide statutory board to co-ordinate activities of Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, including Scottish Development International, Skills Development Scotland and the Scottish Funding Council.

Other reforms will see an acceleration of the delivery of the Trade and Investment Strategy and, through SDI, co-ordination of international activity across the public and academic sectors to ensure maximum benefit.

Another improvement will be to the data and evaluation functions to ensure the new board can provide the best advice across all agencies, and there will be more support to businesses on innovation, productivity, digital and exporting.

One of the key reforms will be the aligning of the functions of the learning and skills agencies to deliver the joined-up support that young people, colleges, universities and businesses need to increase sustainable economic growth.

Read more.

living-wage-smeFive reasons your SME should be at the free Scottish Living Wage Expo on October 31st

The Living Wage is a big topic at the moment. Whether you’re signed up as an accredited Living Wage employer or you’re just keen to find out more about what it could mean for your organisation, there are lots of reasons to go along to the free Living Wage Expo in Glasgow on October 31. Here’s five (and that doesn’t even include the free breakfast).

1. Hear directly from organisational leaders about the business benefits they’ve seen
Hear from Victoria Edwards, Managing Director of Voca Telemarketing about how paying the Living Wage has helped expand her business. Network with organisational leaders who have become accredited.

2. Learn how you can boost your organisation’s profile online and in the media
93% of Living Wage employers say it has had a positive impact on their company’s reputation. Get advice from Tricia Fox of Volpa, cunningly good PR about how Living Wage Accreditation can improve your image, attract customers and secure contracts through using local and social media.

3. Be inspired by real-life stories about the practical impact for families receiving the Living Wage
78% of employers say paying the Living Wage has a positive impact on staff morale and motivation. Learn about the real differences that the Living Wage makes to everyday life for those employees. Dionne from Who Cares? Scotland will share the impact on her life and family.

4. Understand how it’s calculated- and how it’s different from the Government’s national minimum wage
The real Living Wage is based on what it costs for people to live a life with greater choices. It is also carefully calculated to be affordable to employers. Hear from national experts about how the process works and how it’s different from the Government’s national minimum wage.

5. Network with organisational leaders who have seen the difference accreditation makes
The Expo is a great chance to meet people who have become accredited and seen the difference it makes. Chat about your concerns and learn more about what it means in practice with leaders from big business like SSE and Standard Life as well as SMEs like Utopia Computers and Arlington Baths.

Book your free place at the Expo here. 

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About the author

Rhona Middler

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

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