Forth Valley Chamber calls for “relationship reset” as Holyrood elections approach



Forth Valley Chamber is calling for the relationship between businesses and politicians to be reset in a policy document issued ahead of the Holyrood election.


Forth Valley Chamber said Scottish Parliamentarians need to understand and support the value and importance of business in their policy programmes, in a paper entitled “Rally for Growth”, a business-led action plan issued ahead of the Scottish parliament elections next month.


The report is aimed at offering potential parliamentarians a blueprint for economic recovery in the wake of the damage caused by the coronavirus, impacts of leaving the European Union, and a legacy of a slow growth in Scotland.


The Rally for Growth Action Plan calls for:

· Scottish Ministers to pass a Business Growth Act within the first 100 days of the government, encompassing the most urgent issues facing businesses right now, including: reducing upfront business costs; boosting international trade; upskilling, and reskilling the workforce; major digital and infrastructure investment; business mobilisation on COP26, faster action and increased investment around renewable energies; redesigning our Cities.

· The establishment of a new “Joint Economic Partnership” that would oversee an ambitious program of pro-enterprise, pro-growth policies to boost business growth and job creation, bringing together ministers, the Scottish Government’s Council of Economic Advisers and the heads of Scottish business groups such as the Chambers of Commerce.


Lynn Blaikie, President of the Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce said:


“Our wide-ranging Rally for Growth Action Plan is the ‘manifesto’ of the business community to forge a new, closer, more effective alliance between Scottish businesses and the next Scottish Parliament. We hope our plan will provide a comprehensive yet practical set of ideas that will be fundamental to ensuring that our economy bounces back and is ready to grasp new trading opportunities here and abroad. The pace of Government action must be accelerated considerably.


“The Scottish people need commerce and government to align if we are to tackle the big challenges ahead. In this most critical moment, it is vital that Scottish Ministers and business leaders are talking the same language and recognising the need to balance long-term strategies for growth alongside concrete action in the here and now, to ensure we retain as many businesses as possible whilst creating new jobs.”

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Forth Valley Chamber is affiliated with the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, as well as the Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry, an accredited member of the British Chambers of Commerce.

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