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Aberdeen city and shire constituencies top business friendly list

Three in five of Scotland’s most entrepreneurial Scottish Parliament constituencies are in Aberdeen city and shire, according to official figures. 

As part of their campaign to find Scotland’s best smaller firms, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has revealed which MSPs have the healthiest local business communities. Gillian Martin MSP, Alexander Burnett MSP and Kevin Stewart all have more firms in their constituencies than any other MSPs, bar two in the central belt, FSB’s analysis shows.   

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures have been collated ahead of the FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards 2018 – supported by Business Gateway in Scotland. The awards are free to enter and open to all of the country’s smaller enterprises. 

Andy Willox, the FSB’s Scottish policy convenor, said: “While you might expect densely populated wealthy areas to have a large business population, it is interesting to see so many traditionally less affluent areas snapping at their heels. 

“No matter their party or geography, Scotland’s MSPs know the vital contribution that smaller firms make to their constituencies’ economies and local communities. But we know that some in business are too modest for their own good. That’s why we’re launching these awards to find the best small business talent.”

Alexander Burnett, MSP for Aberdeenshire West, said: “The fact that Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire score highly on this list demonstrates that the north-east continues to be the engine-room of Scotland’s economy. Despite the difficulties faced by oil + gas in recent years, firms across the region have managed to consolidate and, in many cases, expand. It’s vital that we now see support from both our governments to ensure that the engineering expertise built up over 40 years is built upon.” 

Kevin Stewart, MSP for Aberdeen Central, said: “It is no surprise that Aberdeen Central has some of the most businesses of any constituency in Scotland – Aberdeen is a fantastic place to do business with a highly-skilled workforce, a diverse range of jobs despite the oil downturn, and good connections to the rest of the country and beyond.”

Gillian Martin, MSP for Aberdeenshire East, said: "Despite recent difficulties in the energy sector, the North-East remains a great place to do business, as evidenced by these latest figures. A highly-skilled and motivated workforce, and a strong, diverse economy are vital factors in the North-East being attractive to businesses big and small.”

FSB is partnering with Business Gateway – Scotland’s advice service people starting or growing their business – for their awards. 

Hugh Lightbody, chief officer Business Gateway, said: “Business Gateway provides free practical help and advice to thousands of businesses day-in day-out, no matter where they’re based in Scotland or the stage they’re at in their business life cycle. While it is gratifying to see the business community grow in areas which need to grow their local economies, we’re there for start-ups and growing firms across the country.

“FSB and Business Gateway work closely across Scotland. We’re thrilled to be partnering with them to deliver these fantastic awards.”

Scottish businesses have until 10 November to lodge their awards application at The Scottish winners of 12 award categories will be announced at an award ceremony on 23 January at the Playfair Library in Edinburgh.