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FSB: Put small business at the heart of City Region Deal

The UK and Scottish Governments have confirmed £90.2m investment into Stirling and Clackmannanshire as part of the City Region Deals. 

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is stressing the importance of proactive engagement with the local small business community and calls for the appointment of an independent small business champion to boost procurement spending with smaller firms. 

Catriona Cripps, Leader of FSB in Forth Valley, said: “It’s welcoming that the City Region Deal investment is finally confirmed by the UK and Scottish Governments. Now the real challenge is to deliver so local small businesses feel the benefit of the investment. 

“Small businesses make a significant contribution to the local economy and people’s lives. Stirling has 3,775 smaller firms, which is nearly nine out of ten businesses, and they account for around two in five private sector jobs. That’s why it is important for their distinct voice to be heard, and acted upon, at the highest level in the City Region Deal. 

“Now the investment is confirmed, small businesses in Stirling would be keen to find out more about the deal and what kind of opportunities are there for them. Therefore now is the perfect time to kick start proactive engagement activities with the wider small business community through events and communications. FSB is happy to play its part as well.” 

The small business campaign group also calls for the appointment of an independent small business champion, embedded within the City Region Deal’s governance structure, to provide independent scrutiny, promote supply chain opportunities, tackle late payment and ensure local firms have their voice heard on key spending decisions.

Catriona Cripps added: “We want small businesses to be at the heart of the City Region Deal. A small business champion with a voice at the decision making table would make sure that key decisions on the deal take small businesses’ interests into account and that they get a fair share of the investment.”