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MSP Gail Ross welcomes figures on Highland business growth

By Staff Reporter- NOSN

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NORTH MSP Gail Ross has welcomed figures showing that the number of businesses in the Highlands is rising.

The Businesses in Scotland 2019 report shows that, as of March 2019, there were an estimated 356,550 private-sector businesses operating in Scotland – the highest number since current records began in 2000.

In the Highlands there was a total of 11,605 businesses, representing a turnover of £10,303m. This is an increase of 165 businesses since last year.

Mrs Ross, the SNP MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, said: “These are encouraging figures. Caithness, Sutherland and Ross is very much open for business.

“I want to see Scotland recognised as one of the best places in the world to do business. The Highlands, with the creativity and ambition of its people, can be at the forefront of this push.

“However, we have to be cautious over these numbers. Brexit looms over us and it poses a very real threat to the prosperity of Scotland’s economy and commerce. I will not sit idly by while Scotland’s potential is thwarted by something we voted against.

“It is vital that Scotland’s future is in Scotland’s hands. I want to see a prosperous independent country, with an international and cooperative outlook.

“Let’s reject the politics of isolation. Let’s keep the Highlands and Scotland open for business.”

The statistics show that between March 2018 and March 2019, the estimated number of businesses in Scotland increased by 2.8 per cent (9755 businesses).

That increase was driven by a 4.3 per cent (7270) rise in the number of unregistered businesses – those not registered for VAT and/or PAYE – which rose from 170,500 in March 2018 to 177,770 in March 2019.

The number of registered businesses in Scotland also increased during that period, up by 2485 businesses (1.4 per cent) from 176,295 to 178,780 – also the highest since current records began.

In the same period there were 354,125 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in Scotland, providing an estimated 1.2 million jobs. SMEs accounted for 99.3 per cent of all private-sector businesses, 55.4 per cent of private-sector employment and 41.5 per cent of private-sector turnover.

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