Election is one of most important Scotland has ever seen, says Caithness business leader Trudy Morris
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North business leader Trudy Morris believes next week's election will be one of the most important Scotland has ever seen.
She says the decisions made by the next Holyrood government will potentially have "huge ramifications" for the economy against the backdrop of Covid-19 and Brexit.
Ms Morris was speaking after Caithness Chamber of Commerce hosted a virtual hustings to give its members the chance to hear from four of the candidates standing for the Caithness, Sutherland and Ross constituency and put questions to them.
Marion Donaldson (Labour), Struan Mackie (Scottish Conservative and Unionist), Molly Nolan (Liberal Democrats) and Maree Todd (SNP) took part, outlining how they would support the business community of the north Highlands if elected.
Questions covered a wide range of business issues, from the impact of Brexit on the fishing industry to how best to reduce the tax burden on modern, technology-oriented businesses.
Ms Morris, the chamber's chief executive, said later: “We were delighted that the candidates were able to take time out of their busy schedules to attend and hear direct from our members on the issues that matter to them.
"The Covid-19 pandemic has had a real impact on businesses across the north Highlands and it is so important that politicians from all parties understand and act to address these.
“Businesses are at the heart of our communities, providing vital jobs and services and keeping our economy going. As we see the easing of restrictions and the gradual reopening of our economy, it is vital that businesses get the support they need and have strong support from their political representatives."
Ms Morris added: “The north Highlands faces a unique set of challenges and opportunities in the coming years. To ensure that businesses can face up to these, we will need strong and sustained investment in our transport and digital infrastructure, a tax system that does not penalise investment and growth, and a broad understanding amongst policy-makers of the impact their decisions might have on rural economies.
“This election is among the most important Scotland has ever seen, and the decisions made by the next Scottish Government will have potentially huge ramifications for the Scottish economy. We would encourage candidates and leaders from all parties to read the Rally for Growth manifesto from Scottish Chambers of Commerce and to engage with their local business communities in the run-up to voting day.”