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Region sees drop in business numbers

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By Fiona Reid
Region sees drop in business numbers

A DROP in the number of businesses operating in the region has been revealed.

According to figures from the Office of National Statistics, the number of Scottish VAT registered business in Dumfries and Galloway has seen a marked drop when comparing 2022/23 with the previous year.

Looking at the two parliamentary constituencies which cover the region: Dumfries and Galloway saw 30 business closures, while in Dumfriesshire; Clydesdale and Tweeddale, that number dropped 50 when comparing 2021/22 with 2022/23.

Across Scotland as a whole there were over 2000 fewer VAT registered businesses in 2023 than in the previous year.

Commenting, South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said: “These figures are really concerning but will come as no surprise to anyone who regularly shops in our high streets.

“Every week it seems that more and more small businesses across Dumfries and Galloway are forced to close their doors, and it is down to the incompetence of the Scottish and UK Governments.

“The lack of stability caused by both of Scotland’s governments is impacting growth in our economy, with fewer businesses operating than were recorded last year.

“The past few years have been awful for our high streets.”

He called for ‘longer term action’ from both Governments in order to save high streets from further closures.