Business Gateway received over 25,000 enquiries this year

Business Gateway received over 25,000 enquiries this year

Hugh Lightbody

Business Gateway received over 25,000 enquiries from potential small business operators in Scotland this year, the business advisory service has revealed ahead of Small Business Saturday UK.

The small business sector is believed to be worth around £110 billion to the Scottish economy according to the Federation of Small Businesses, with the latest data from the Scottish Government suggesting that small businesses make up more than 98% of the private sector.

Despite its scale, confidence amongst small businesses remains low, with the most recent analysis from the FSB highlighting a continued trend amongst business owners who expect their performance to worsen.

Business Gateway is using Small Business Saturday, an annual day which celebrates small businesses and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’, to reflect on the last year and highlight the support it offers.

Scotland’s national business advisory service, which is delivered by local government, has already provided more than 1,4000 events and workshops this year, which have been attended by over 21,000 entrepreneurs, start-up operators and leading business owners.

Its network of advisers, who are based in all 32 local authorities in Scotland, has provided thousands of hours of professional advice, including guidance on building a business plan, marketing and sales, help with funding, and insights on digital transformation.

Amid the cost-of-living crisis, Business Gateway has developed several resources to help guide business owners through the current climate, including a podcast on managing cash flow, guides on cutting operating costs, and webinars in partnership with Business Energy Scotland for those looking to run a more sustainable business.

Earlier this year, it also carried out training for its advisers with the Scottish Association of Mental Health (SAMH), to ensure those working in the heart of Scottish small business could effectively handle conversations around worry and concern amongst customers.

Hugh Lightbody, chief officer at Business Gateway, said: “Small businesses are the backbone of Scotland’s economy, which is evidenced in the latest statistics about their impact. However, recent years have posed various challenges to the sector, and it remains critical that we provide the necessary support.

“More worryingly, we know business confidence is low, so it is important we take opportunities such as Small Business Saturday to highlight accomplishments, remind the sector of its resilience, and encourage consumers to ‘shop local’.

“Our resources, workshops, webinars and network of local advisers at Business Gateway all play a vital role in guiding small business owners through every step of their journey, making sure they have the knowledge and resources needed to thrive.”

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