Firms with fewer than 50 employees sustain up to seven in ten private sector jobs in parts of Scotland, according to figures compiled by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) ahead Small Business Saturday this weekend.
Scottish small business employment is proportionately highest in the Orkney Islands, the Western Isles, the Shetland Islands, the Scottish Borders, and Argyll and Bute according to the FSB. In these areas smaller firms generate at least half of private sector jobs.
However the official statistics also show that 79,880 people are employed by these types of businesses in Glasgow, more than in any other council area. Edinburgh follows closely behind with 72,380 people provided work by smaller operators.
Andrew McRae, FSB’s Scotland Policy Chair, said: “These figures show that across the length and breadth of Scotland smaller firms are vital to local jobs and the health of local communities. In our cities, hundreds of thousands of Scots work for small businesses and in rural Scotland they account for every second job.
“Small Business Saturday is a day to celebrate the contribution of these firms while backing high streets and town centres. So, this weekend we’re urging Scots to check out the brilliant shops, cafés, pubs, restaurants and all the other independent operators that can be found in our local communities.”
Small Business Saturday is now in its sixth year in the UK, and in 2017 an estimated £748m was spent with small businesses on the first Saturday of December.