Business Support Inquiry


About the Inquiry


In June 2018, the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee launched an inquiry on business support. The remit of the inquiry was:

“To understand the range of support services available to new and existing small and medium sized businesses at a local level across Scotland, with a particular focus on Business Gateway. The Committee will evaluate current provision and explore ways of ensuring businesses receive the support they need to grow and succeed.”


In 2008 the Scottish Government decided to give local authorities responsibility for running local Business Gateway services. With ten years having passed since the reforms were introduced, the Committee sought to explore the effectiveness and efficiency of Business Gateway and hear from business about their experiences of accessing support. 


The Committee took evidence on Business Support at the following meetings:


The Committee issued a call for written views, which closed on 10 August 2018.

Read the call for views

Written Submissions

The Committee also sought views through an online survey, which closed on 10 August 2018. 

The Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) published its analysis of the Survey:

The Committee wrote to COSLA on 21 November and 11 December seeking further information. COSLA responded on 14 December 2018.

Visits and Events

On 26 November 2018, Committee members visited Dublin to compare business support in Scotland and Ireland. They met with the Department for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Enterprise Ireland and visited a Local Enterprise Office (LEO) in Fingal.  

A visit to Lanarkshire Enterprise Services Ltd took place on 13 November 2018 

Committee members went to Inverness and Aberdeen on 3 and 4 December 2018. They met with the following businesses and organisations. 

Committee members also had meetings in Edinburgh on 10 and 20 December 2018. 


The Committee published its report on 20 February 2019:

Read the Business Support report

The Scottish Government responded on 18 April 2019.

COSLA responded on 3 May 2019.

The Committee wrote to the Cabinet Secretary on 4 July, seeking further clarity on the time frames for the review, the Cabinet Secretary responded on 17 July 2019.

The Committee wrote to the Cabinet Secretary on 15 August seeking further details, the Cabinet Secretary responded on 22 August 2019.


The Business Support inquiry was debated in Chamber on 22 May 2019. 

Official Report 22 May 2019 

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