In his latest Post column, Damon Scott, chief executive of Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce shares his thoughts on the Scottish economy following the appointment of a new First Minister...

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Scotland's businesses, particularly those in retail and hospitality, have been facing some very strong headwinds recently.

Latest surveys have highlighted declining cash flows, low confidence levels and stifled investment.

Energy costs, other inflationary pressures on the cost of doing business and staff recruitment issues remain an ongoing challenge for many.

There are some green shoots, however, with some sectors performing better at the start of the year and signs of confidence returning more generally.

Additional uncertainty around the Deposit Return Scheme, alcohol advertising, Tourism Visitor Levy and the Short-term Let Scheme is coming at a particularly bad time, with many businesses expressing concern that they have not been listened to.

The appointment of a new First Minister and a new cabinet presents a real opportunity to reset the relationship between the government, the business community and the Chamber network.

It was encouraging to hear the First Minister make a pledge that there will be an “open door” for business.

The Chamber network is keen to work with the government to help put the Scottish economy back onto a path towards unlocking growth and investment.

At Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce, we are committed to representing and supporting businesses during these challenging times.

Our digital transformation plans will provide new opportunities for members, including a business directory and jobs board.

We are also working on new packages for trades, retail, hospitality and other small businesses, focusing on compliance, health and safety and first aid training, to provide local support to a wider membership.

We are also excited to host the upcoming Business Breakfast Club at Gavin’s Mill, in Milngavie, on Thursday, April 20, which will provide a platform for businesses to connect, build relationships and grow their network.

In addition to the Business Breakfast Club, we are looking forward to co-hosting the Dumbarton Loves Local Business Club on Thursday, May 11, to promote local businesses and help them connect and support each other.

By supporting local businesses, we can create a thriving and sustainable economy that benefits everyone.

The Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce is committed to providing the support and resources that our members need to make them stronger and more resilient and we look forward to working with even more Dunbartonshire businesses in the months and years to come.

To find out more, join the Chamber or register for events, visit, send an email to or phone 0141 280 0272.