Scotland’s home-based workers are unable to move into commercial premises because of a lack of affordable options, according to a new survey.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) found that 42 per cent of home-based workers were not expanding their operations into premises because of cost, with an additional six per cent saying that there were no suitable places available to them.
The FSB said that Scotland’s “hidden army of backroom businesses” could contribute to the country’s respective local economies if the authorities could provide suitable and affordable business space.
Given that there are plenty of vacant retail units with no sign of occupancy, they could be adapted into spaces suitable for small businesses to set up shop and begin networking and trading with one another.
Andy Wilcox, the FSB’s Scottish policy convenor, said: “There must be a way to diversify the use of these empty units – providing modern businesses with suitable premises – putting business back into the hearts of our towns.”
A collaborative approach from landlords, estate agent and local authorities is needed to tackle the problem of vacant properties.
The Federation of Small Businesses is the UK’s largest campaigning pressure group promoting and protecting the interests of the self-employed and owners of small firms.
Established in 1974, it now has 200,000 members across 33 regions and 194 branches.