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Inverness business leader wants business to lead recovery efforts after Scottish elections

By Alasdair Fraser

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Inverness Chamber chief executive Stewart Nicol.
Inverness Chamber chief executive Stewart Nicol.

Inverness Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is calling for a “reset” in relations between business and government as the Holyrood elections approach.

The local business network wants politicians to recognise the need for a business-led recovery from months of lockdown.

It has produced a 20-page action plan entitled Rally for Growth – a business-led report for the next Scottish Government.

The policy document, which carries the message ‘Scotland can do better’, calls for recognition of the importance of business involvement in policy programmes. It is designed to offer all prospective parliamentarians a blueprint for economic recovery in the wake of damage caused by coronavirus, leaving the EU, and “the legacy of slow growth”.

It calls on Scottish ministers to pass a business growth act within the first 100 days of the new government, encompassing the most urgent issues facing firms. It also proposes a new joint economic partnership to promote ambitious pro-enterprise, pro-growth policies to boost business growth and job creation.

The body would bring together ministers, the Scottish Government’s council of economic advisers and business leaders.

ICC chief executive Stewart Nicol said: “Our wide-ranging Rally for Growth action plan is the manifesto of the business community to forge a new, closer and more effective alliance between Scottish business and the next Scottish Parliament.

“We hope our plan will provide a comprehensive yet practical set of ideas 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 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.”

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