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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-18266: Dean Lockhart (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 17 August 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking in response to the call by the Federation of Small Businesses for more support for rural start-ups, in light of the numbers of these lagging behind those in cities.

Answered by: Fergus Ewing 12 September 2018

Scottish Government is committed to helping businesses across Scotland to grow and offers a variety of support options. These range from publicly funded business support, support for exporting, reducing the burden of taxation and regulation, making it easier for small businesses to access public sector contracts, improving access to finance, and strengthening innovation and entrepreneurship.

Support for our Enterprise Agencies provides responsive and focussed support to allow both urban and rural businesses to grow. While improving start-up rates is a national objective, we recognise the particular challenges faced by those located in rural areas such as the South of Scotland for example. This has led to the establishment of a new enterprise agency in the South of Scotland, to respond to the needs of that area and drive forward sustainable inclusive growth.

Business Gateway offers support for start-up businesses across Scotland, including business advice, planning and financial management as well as assistance with marketing, sales and business growth.

Scottish Government also provide funding for initiatives, such as Perth-based GrowBiz to develop, promote and deliver sustainable community-based enterprise support in rural areas.

In addition, The LEADER programme, part-funded by Scottish Government, will deliver around £77.4 million of locally targeted funding, including support for start-up and expanding enterprises.