Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Business chiefs to quiz leaders

12 April 2011 Last updated at 01:27 GMT man using mouse and computer The FSB says that small businesses are vital to the Scottish economy Scotland's political leaders will face questions about business and the economy as they go head-to-head at a hustings in Edinburgh.

The event on Tuesday evening has been organised by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

On the podium will be the SNP's Alex Salmond, Labour's Iain Gray, Lib Dem Tavish Scott, Conservative Annabel Goldie, and the Greens' Patrick Harvie.

Campaigning for all parties continues ahead of the 5 May poll.

As the fourth week of electioneering gets under way, the Scottish Lib Dems, the Scottish Tories and Scottish Labour are promoting their manifesto commitments published last week.

The SNP is preparing for its manifesto launch later this week. The Scottish Greens are also due to publish their manifesto.

About 200 invited guests from Scotland's small business community are expected to quiz the five political leaders at the hustings taking place at Dynamic Earth.

The event, in association with the Sunday Times Scotland, will be chaired by political broadcaster Colin Mackay.

Continue reading the main story The total number of private sector enterprises in Scotland was 296,780 as of March 2010, a 1.9% increase since March 2009Total private sector employment in Scotland is 1,999,140Businesses with fewer than 50 employees account for 98% of all Scottish businessesBusinesses with fewer than 10 employees account for 93% of all Scottish businesses

(Source: Scottish Government Corporate Statistics 2010)

Andy Willox, the FSB's Scottish policy convener, said: "Scotland's small businesses have faced some tough times since the last Scottish Parliament elections. Our members have been leaned on by banks and big business.

"Many still sometimes feel that government at all levels can forget how important they are.

"However, we are encouraged at the pro-small business stance adopted by all the parties in this election.

"They know, as we do, that Scotland's small businesses have a track-record of creating jobs, generating revenues and advocating for community improvements.

"They know, with big business already shedding jobs and the public sector facing difficult times, it is more important than ever that they give small businesses the tools they need to get on with the job.

"I look forward to seeing Scotland's next first minister making their case to Scotland's small businesses."

The FSB says it is Scotland's largest direct-member business organisation. It represents more than 20,000 Scottish members in every sector of the economy.

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