Hard work must start now as restrictions to relax

Press Releases 22 Feb 2022

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Scotland has welcomed the First Minister’s announcement detailing a timetable for winding down remaining legal Covid restrictions.

But the local and independent business campaign group has warned the hard work needs to start now to get local economies back on their feet. Official statistics show that Scotland lost 20,000 of the smallest firms in a single year of the pandemic.

Andrew McRae, the FSB in Scotland’s policy chair, said: “The lifting of the remaining covid rules will be a weight off the shoulders of Scotland’s small business community.

“While the First Minister outlined her government’s continued caution, she also spelled out a desire to return to a more normal way of life. That ambition to get back to business is something that Scotland’s local and independent firms share.

“However, the hard work to get local economies moving needs to start now. Ministers need to inject confidence as well as roll-out vaccines.

“With a new economic strategy in the pipeline, we’d urge Ministers to ensure that the local firms and self-employed people that gave up so much are at the centre of their plans. And local authorities and the Scottish Government must work together to ensure that cash aimed at recovery reaches the real economy.

“The document published today also outlines scenarios where covid rules could return. We’d ask decision-makers to recognise the damage this crisis has already done to Scotland’s business community before re-imposing tough restrictions.”