There has been a notable increase in the number of private sector businesses operating in Scotland since 2000. The total has risen from around 280 000 to 365 600. Much of this growth has been in the smaller unregistered enterprises. You can see from the graph above that growth was stalling in the last years of the Lab/Lib coalition but then started to grow under the SNP minority government from 2007 before a sharper increase in recent years.
Scottish Government policies such as those giving exemption or reductions to rates payments for smaller businesses were implemented last year. The Small Business Bonus rates scheme in 2016/17 lead to 104 000 small businesses qualifying for relief under the scheme reducing or removing rates bills.
Not only is there growth but enterprises are reporting greater confidence. See:
77% of Scotland’s small and medium-sized businesses report success as Scottish Government reports record numbers exempt from rates and in the wake of figures revealing much greater signs of distress among rUK businesses.
This, of course, is linked directly to falling unemployment figures, with Scotland now having consistently lower unemployment figures than the UK.