Scottish SMEs are divided on independence

Just over half of SMEs in Scotland are in favour of independence, against those across the rest of the country, who are less enthusiastic.

The study, commissioned by AXA Business Insurance, questioned around 500 SMEs across the UK, revealing that one in four (25 per cent) of all those questioned believe that independence would be a good thing for small businesses in Scotland, while 45 per cent believe it would not. The remaining 30 per cent are not sure either way.

However, when it comes to businesses based in Scotland, the number in favour of independence doubles to 52 per cent, while only one in three feel independence would not be a good thing for SMEs.

South of the border, in England, 43 per cent of SMEs think independence would not be a good thing for their contemporaries in Scotland, while in Wales this number is 59 per cent.

“It’s clear from our research that this is an issue that is very much front of mind for small businesses,” says AXA Business Insurance MD Darrell Sansom.

“SMEs have a lot of business critical issues to manage at the moment and the uncertainty around a possible independent Scotland will only add to those concerns. Regardless of the outcome of the vote, it is important that small businesses are looking at every eventuality and ensuring that their business is prepared for the vote to go either way.”

Kenneth Gibson MSP, a member of the Scottish National Party, welcomes the survey. He says: 

“This is a welcome report which shows that among the SMEs surveyed in Scotland, a clear majority favour independence. On the day that the UK Government presents its latest ‘Project Fear’ report, this survey indicates that the negative approach of the No campaign is backfiring.  

“Business men and women on the ground know that deciding economic policies in Scotland means better policies for Scottish business – for example the small business bonus scheme, creating the most competitive business rates environment anywhere in the UK. And with the full powers of independence, Scotland can achieve even more.”

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