The Scottish Government has today published their Businesses in Scotland: 2021 report, which estimates that between March 2020 and March 2021, the number of businesses in Scotland decreased by 5.4%, a loss of nearly 20,000 businesses.
The main purpose of the publication is to provide an estimate of Scotland’s business stock and covers the period over the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which many businesses were subject to restrictions.
A summary of the key findings highlight that:
Commenting on the Scottish Government’s ‘Business in Scotland:2021’ report, Dr Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce said:
“This report lays bare the stark reality of the impact that COVID-19 restrictions have had on Scotland’s businesses during the first year of the pandemic.
“It’s clear that the unprecedented levels of restrictions placed on businesses, Government-mandated home working, and domestic and international travel restrictions have taken their toll.
“The loss of nearly 20,000 businesses, mainly small and medium-size enterprises reveals the true extent of the devastating impact that the pandemic has had on Scotland’s economy, employers and employees. Although SMEs have weathered the worst of the severe economic downturn the economy experienced over the last 18 months, it’s also concerning to see a decline in the number of large companies, those with 250 employees or more, operating in Scotland also falling in the past year.
“As Scotland’s economy now begins to recover and the vaccination rollout continues at pace into its third phase, the Scottish Government must avoid any unnecessary economic restrictions or additional burdens being placed on Scotland’s businesses. Our recovery remains fragile and a return to pre-pandemic levels of growth remains far from guaranteed.
“Scotland’s businesses drive growth, create jobs and pay the taxes that drive investment and finance our public services. The Scottish Government should take note of this report ahead of the Scottish Budget next month and put forward a budget for business growth that creates the right environment for businesses to be able to survive and grow.”