A third of Scottish businesses are in better health this Christmas, report finds
Despite high inflation, rising energy prices and a tighter labour market, 33% of firms in Scotland expect this Christmas trading period to be merry and bright compared to last year, according to the latest insight from the Lloyds Bank Business Barometer.
The insight from the Bank of Scotland-owner, found that those predicting a bumper festive period cited having more time to prepare (25%), while increasing customer demand was cited by 22% of firms as they felt less affected by Covid restrictions due to the Omicron variant last year.
Those expecting a worse Christmas trading period said they were struggling with increased costs of doing business (10%).
Almost three-quarters of businesses surveyed said that Christmas was important for their future prospects (74%), but only one in ten (10%) said they felt completely prepared for Christmas.
Meanwhile, a fifth (20%) said they are not yet fully prepared for the festive period.
When asked what could help firms prepare more effectively, 30% said they wanted more support with rising costs, with 23% saying that better access to their supply networks would help.
Skilled workers were also high on businesses’ wish lists, with 25% saying access to more skilled staff would boost Christmas trading.
Chris Lawrie, area director for Bank of Scotland, said: “This year has been marked by highs and lows but it’s encouraging to see many firms are in good spirits about trade over the festive period.
“With no restrictions in place, the opportunities for businesses are clear but we know that some aren’t fully prepared for this Christmas trading period. It’s essential that businesses put plans in place now to carefully manage cashflow and make the most of what will be a busy end of the year.”