Scottish Parliament constituencies in the north and north-east have dominated a new list of business “hotspots” produced by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
The organisation carried out research to find out which MSP’s have the largest local business communities as part of its annual campaign to find Scotland’s best smaller firms.
Although Edinburgh Central has more businesses than any other, according to the official figures used, seven of the top 10 constituencies are in the Highlands or north-east.
Small businesses are ‘backbone’ of city centre
The highest placed and third overall was Aberdeen Central, with 5,785 firms, followed by Aberdeenshire West, ranked fourth, with 5,140.
Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch was in fifth place, with 4,910 businesses and Caithness, Sutherland and Ross in sixth, with 4,715.
Aberdeenshire East, with 4,575 companies, Inverness and Nairn, with 4,255 and Banffshire and Buchan Coast, with 4,180 were places, seventh, eighth and ninth.
Aberdeen Central MSP, Kevin Stewart, said: “Aberdeen has a diverse mix of small businesses that really do offer people here a rich shopping experience – small businesses are the backbone of our city centre and they must continue to be so as we move in to a new age for retail.
“To see Aberdeen dominating a list of business hotspots is a credit to these small businesses and folk here should be really proud to celebrate the role that small businesses play in our city.”
The figures were collated ahead of the FSB’s Celebrating Small Business Awards 2022.
The last two UK-wide winners have been from the Highlands, with Cruise Loch Ness winning UK Small Business of the Year 2019 and Woodlands Glencoe taking the accolade in 2020.
North has ‘formidable’ record in annual awards
Andrew McRae, FSB’s Scottish policy convenor, said: “After such a tough year for all, we’re excited to celebrate the achievements of Scotland’s small business community.
“Across the length and breadth of Scotland, local and independent businesses play a key role. We’re on the hunt for firms who demonstrate the best of this vital sector.
“The north of Scotland really has a formidable record when it comes to these awards.”
Kate Forbes, MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, added: “Raised in the Highlands and now with a Highland constituency – the largest and in some ways most fragmented in Scotland – I am well aware of the vital roles that small, independent businesses play both in their local economies and communities and within Scotland as a whole.
“Anyone who thinks that there’s no point – that winners always come from the south – should perhaps consider why it is that the FSB’s last two UK Small Businesses of the Year have both come from the Highlands; in fact from my constituency.”