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GRANT CAMPBELL: In Business Focus, SCDI’s regional manager for the Highlands and Islands argues that resilience of our regional economy and its people will ensure future growth

By Grant Campbell

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Grant Campbell, SCDI’s regional manager for the Highlands and Islands.
Grant Campbell, SCDI’s regional manager for the Highlands and Islands.

The long summer days and the appearance of the warm sunny weather is a welcome boost for our region as we continue to see recovery for our members in the tourism industry.

All of our members from this sector are currently fully focused on navigating the challenges of delivering customer experiences and the great value that the Highlands are renowned for, but this cannot mask concerns about sustaining the future for so many of our SMEs.

In the short term, our members are being challenged by staffing shortages which are reducing the number of trading days. Energy prices and supply chain costs are rising significantly and impacting profitability, therefore businesses looking to invest in business growth and development, simply cannot consider this for the immediate future.

The resilience of our regional economy and people, will ensure our communities continue to develop and grow in the coming years. Our mix of traditional industries such as tourism, aquaculture and forestry are supplemented by the growth of renewables, the emergence of a space industry and advanced manufacturing, and with the Inverness Creative Academy, we have opportunity and diversity for our current and future workforce to consider.

• SCDI has been working with NatureScot to deliver the #ChangeforClimate campaign, which aims to highlight Scottish businesses that have adopted sustainable practices in the pursuit of biodiversity and achieving net-zero status. Through video case studies, SCDI has highlighted the work these businesses have undertaken and the challenges they have overcome.

Net zero and sustainability are hot topics, but for many businesses, they remain rather intangible.

These video case studies help to show business owners the reality of positive change and can be used as a starting guide for those looking to make a change towards a nature-rich future. Find out more by visiting us at www.scdi.org.uk/net-zero/change-for-climate

• The SCDI Highlands and Islands Business Excellence Awards are now open for entries. If you would like to enter or nominate a business, click here.

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