State of the Nation: Small businesses battle for survival

Small and micro businesses across Scotland are battling for survival as growth slows, short-term confidence weakens and joblessness rises, according to SCDI’s latest State of the Nation briefing.

As much as 15% of micro businesses and 9% of small businesses are worried that they may not be able to survive the next three months due to weak sales, rising debt or dwindling reserves.

Longer-term optimism for a recovery has been buoyed by rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, but short-term confidence remains weak as Scotland returns to lockdown.

Key points

  • 390,000 small and micro businesses across the UK are concerned they will not survive the next three months
  • Unemployment in Scotland could rise to 7.5% in 2021
  • Brexit deal could cut Scottish GDP by around 6.1% (or £9bn) by 2030 compared to EU membership
  • Online sales are up 86%
  • Scotland fell behind rest of UK and international competitors on 10 out of 15 key indicators of productivity in 2020

Download our latest State of the Nation briefing below for all of the latest data and forecasts in one place.


State of the Nation / January 2021


State of the Nation / December 2020


State of the Nation / November 2020