Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch constituency ranked fourth for most Scottish businesses

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The Holyrood constituency of Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch has come fifth in a list of Scottish business hotspots, beating cities including Inverness and Stirling.

MSP Kate Forbes’ Scottish parliament constituency and others in the Highlands and the North East dominated the list of Scottish business hotspots, highlighted by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

As part of  its campaign to find Scotland’s best smaller firms, FSB has revealed which MSPs have the largest local business communities.

While Edinburgh Central has more businesses than any other according to official figures (10,075), seven of the top ten constituencies in terms of number of local firms are in the Highlands or the North East.

Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch has 4,910 firms, while Inverness and Nairn was in eighth spot with 4,255 and Stirling coming tenth with 4,150.

Ms Forbes commented: ‘Raised in the Highlands and now with a Highland constituency – the largest and in some ways most fragmented in Scotland – I am well aware of the vital roles that small, independent businesses play in their local economies and communities and within Scotland as a whole.

‘Anyone who thinks there’s no point – that winners always come from the south – should perhaps consider why it is that the FSB’s last two UK Small Businesses of the Year have come from the Highlands; from my constituency, in fact.

‘We need more Highlands and Islands winners and there’s all to play for, so please give it some thought.’

The figures have been collated ahead of FSB’s Celebrating Small Business Awards 2022, which have seen the UK’s overall winners come from Scotland for the last two years.

The awards are free to enter and open to members and non-members. There are 12 categories for the Scotland-leg of the awards. Winners will go on to compete at the UK Final in May 2022 in Glasgow.

The last two UK-wide winners were from the Highlands: Cruise Loch Ness which won UK Small Business of the Year 2019 and Woodlands Glencoe which beat more than 3,100 entrants to lift the accolade in 2020.

Andrew McRae, FSB’s Scottish policy convenor, added: ‘After such a tough year for everyone, we’re excited to celebrate the achievements of Scotland’s small business community.

‘Across the length and breadth of Scotland, local and independent businesses play a key role. We’re on the hunt for firms which demonstrate the best of this vital sector.

‘The north of Scotland has a formidable record when it comes to these awards. Could another UK-wide winner come from this patch?’

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The last two UK-wide winners were from MSP Kate Forbes’s constituency.

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