One in four Aberdeenshire businesses expanded during the pandemic

Despite a difficult year, over a quarter of businesses Aberdeenshire have been able to expand during the pandemic indicating some ‘green shoots’ of recovery, according to research by Rathbone Investment Management.

By Kevin McRoberts
Friday, 16th April 2021, 6:20 am
Some businesses have been able to adapt during the pandemic, with many moving online to generate income.
Some businesses have been able to adapt during the pandemic, with many moving online to generate income.

Some have been able to adapt their business models during the pandemic, with many moving to online sales in order to generate income.

This has had a positive impact with a quarter (26 per cent) of owners in Aberdeenshire having expanded their business during the pandemic. In addition, a further 11 per cent started businesses during the last 12 months as the pandemic sparked new ideas and opportunities.

However, the pandemic has had significant implications for many businesses across Scotland, with 37 per cent reporting that they had suffered during the pandemic. This was higher for businesses in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, with 41 per cent saying their business had suffered.

The ongoing restrictions have forced many businesses to close over the last year, with those in retail, leisure and hospitality most impacted. Indeed, while a roadmap has been announced that spells out Scotland’s path out of lockdown, one year into the pandemic many businesses have seen significant losses in income.

Simon Dewar, Rathbones regional director, said: “The past 12 months have been difficult for businesses with every organisation needing to adapt to some extent due to the pandemic.

"The impact has been disproportionate with some businesses severely financially impacted. While the government has gone some way to support these businesses throughout this period, its unlikely we’ll see a true recovery until restrictions are fully lifted.”

However, there is some positivity for the future, with 59 per cent of those surveyed saying that they were optimistic about the economic outlook of the next 12 months.

Mr Dewar added: “Many businesses have deferred any expansion plans over the last year as the focus has been on survival. As confidence grows, so will the sparks of entrepreneurial endeavour, with businesses dusting down these plans and using what they’ve learned through the crisis to seize opportunity and build robust businesses that drive our economy.”