Scots businesses facing greater hardship in 2015

Ken Pattullo

Scottish businesses are facing greater financial hardship than they were last year, according to a report by insolvency specialists Begbies Traynor.

The firm’s quarterly Red Flag Alert report said there were 13,640 instances between April-June 2015 in which Scottish firms showed significant financial problems, an increase of 8 per cent compared to the same month in 2014.

However, the number of companies at serious risk of going out of business fell by 42 per cent over the same timeframe.

Ken Pattullo, group managing partner for Begbies Traynor in Scotland, said: “The critical numbers suggest there are fewer businesses in severe distress than this time a year ago, and that is obviously a good thing for the immediate state of the economy.

“The bad news outweighs any positives though, as the warning lights are flashing for distress in the coming year, especially for suppliers to the supermarkets and independent retailers in that sector.”

The chief executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) said the change was “not a good indicator”.

Liz Cameron, SCC CEO, said: “The Scottish Government have an opportunity now to re-evaluate business rates making them more competitive and fair for all businesses across Scotland. That would help reduce costs and is in their power to do so.”

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