Scottish scale-up businesses thrive in face of pandemic: new data

The vast majority of Scotland’s scale-up businesses have continued to thrive in the face of the pandemic, figures suggest.

Some 92 per cent of scale-up companies successfully maintained a strong growth trajectory in the first year of the pandemic, according to Scottish legal firm Morton Fraser.

It cited newly published data from the Office for National Statistics which revealed that 745 of Scotland’s 805 high-growth businesses in 2019 continued to perform well going into 2020, and remained in growth territory despite the pandemic.

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The data indicated that 22 local authorities managed to maintain or increase the number of scale-up businesses in their region in the first year of the virus, while ten council areas saw their count decrease.

Iain Young, head of Morton Fraser’s corporate growth team.

Dundee, Inverclyde and North Lanarkshire all ended the first year of the pandemic with more scale-up businesses than they started with, while Angus saw the largest proportionate drop in businesses.

Iain Young, head of Morton Fraser’s corporate growth team, said: “While these figures represent the turbulent business landscape that the pandemic brought about - creating growth opportunities for some, while presenting challenge after challenge for others - they show the true tenacity of the business community in Scotland, as many companies were able to weather the storm.

“2021 saw an unprecedented level of investment into start-ups from Scotland’s business angel community, and we expect this to contribute significantly to strong business growth.

“It is key now that those that have made it through to this stage continue to be protected and nurtured; we must recognise the significance of the successes from within Scotland’s high performing sectors.”

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