Regulation demand

FSB chief calls on new FM to ‘think small first’

Andrew McRae
Andrew McRae: don’t treat businesses as a ‘job lot’

The incoming First Minister has been urged to “think small first” regarding rules and regulations imposed on businesses.

Andrew McRae, FSB’s Scotland policy chairman has called for a “fresh mindset” from whoever succeeds Nicola Sturgeon.

He said it was important that government did not treat businesses as a “job lot” that were all the same.

“The changing of the guard at the very top of the Scottish Government marks the beginning of a new age, one that must come with a fresh mindset,” he said.

“Small businesses in Scotland face a wide-ranging suite of regulatory changes in the short to medium term – the details of which, in many cases, remain unclear.

“From the Deposit Return Scheme to tourism taxes. to the suggested limitations on alcohol licensing, many smaller operators are facing the prospect of having to redesign the way they do business across several fronts.”

Taking issue with those who draw up policy without regard to the difference between large and small firms, he added: “We can’t treat businesses as a job lot, designing regulations for large PLCs and expecting small and micros to fit in. 

“Ministers and officials need to think small first, building schemes around what will work in practice for the small firms who make up the vast majority of businesses in Scotland.

“Now is the time to take a comprehensive look at all new rules – from right across government – that are due to be implemented in the next few years and examine their cumulative, real-world impact on daily operations. 

“Not only will this help Scotland’s small businesses drive economic recovery, it also gives the government’s stated policy aims the greatest chance of success.”

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