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Scotland has more registered businesses per head of population now than at any point over the last ten years, according to official figures.

Statistics highlighted by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) ahead of Small Business Saturday (7 December) show that in 2019 there were 396 registered businesses per 10,000 adults in Scotland. By comparison in 2010 the equivalent figure was just 357.

Year

Number of Businesses

Resident Adult Population (aged 16+)

Registered business stock per 10,000 resident adults

2010

155,045

4,344,402

357

2011

154,365

4,383,797

352

2012

159,580

4,398,974

363

2013

160,050

4,416,121

362

2014

166,525

4,436,559

375

2015

170,335

4,460,738

382

2016

173,995

4,488,783

388

2017

176,400

4,507,358

391

2018

176,295

4,518,598

390

2019

178,780

4,518,598

396

The official figures also show that almost all (99.3 per cent) of Scottish businesses are small or medium-sized. These operators now provide an estimated 1.2 million jobs in Scotland – more than half of all private sector employment.

Andrew McRae, FSB’s Scotland Policy Chair, said: “The last decade has been no walk in the park for Scotland’s economy. We’ve had to shake off the hangover from the financial crisis, seen individual industries rise and fall, and faced an extremely changeable political climate.

“But despite it all, we’ve also seen a rise in the number of registered businesses per head of population. This demonstrates that across Scotland we’ve still got a large number of people that want to start up on their own and many others working hard to grow and sustain their business.”

FSB is urging people across Scotland to use Small Business Saturday to give their local small business community a boost – while making the case for the government, big business and citizens to look to smaller operators all year round.

Andrew McRae said: “This Small Business Saturday we want to see Scottish high streets bustling with people choosing to spend their money with independent businesses. It doesn’t matter if you meet a pal for a coffee, pick up a Christmas present for a loved one, or get your cupboards stocked for the week ahead.” 

In 2018, £812m was spent with small businesses across the UK on Small Business Saturday. Now in its seventh year, FSB is a proud supporter of the Small Business Saturday campaign. 

Andrew McRae continued: “If we want to hold onto our local economies and communities, then local small businesses need our support all year round. That’s why FSB works every week of the year to convince key decision-makers to back small business. 

“But let’s keep it simple this weekend – when we’re maybe spending a bit more than normal – and simply urge people to spend their hard-earned cash with those with a foot in their community.”

Neina Sheldon
Article by Neina Sheldon
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