Time to get back to work

SCOTLAND’S people have voted to remain a part of the United Kingdom and now, the country’s independent retailers have been left to consider what that means for them.
“This vote signals the start of a fresh chapter of devolution, with greater power and more economic responsibility for Holyrood and the Scottish Government,” said David Lonsdale, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium.

Trade bodies say rebuild stability and look to the future
“The SRC and our members look forward to engaging constructively and positively to ensure that the further powers to be devolved are implemented in a sensible and cost effective manner.”
Scottish Grocers’ Federation chief executive John Drummond stressed that the organisation is neutral but said: “It was clear to us that risk and uncertainty were always the biggest concerns for our members. Hopefully the result means an end to many of these uncertainties.
“With the final settlement of the independence debate we would urge the Scottish government to work with us to ensure we create the best economic conditions for a successful, sustainable and independent convenience store industry in Scotland.”
Among retailers themselves, opinions are still varied – and occasionally surprising.
Yes voter John Murray of Nisa Dornoch told Scottish Grocer he was “pretty disappointed” with the result.
“I certainly feel it was the older vote that swung it and I think the people that voted yes did that on a very informed manner and a lot of others went with no at the very outset and never did any digging into it. What I really did love was the passion and maturity of the 16 and 17 year-olds who really got engaged with the debate.”
He said that the country would “never know” what a Yes vote might have done for local businesses in Scotland.
Kashain Arshad, of Spar Logans Road in Motherwell, was against independence, but said events in the days since the vote have given him cause for concern.
“When the results came in on Friday, I was relieved, but I’m already doubting myself for voting no,” he said.
“What I really wanted was Devo Max and I thought
the three leaders made it pretty clear we would get more powers. But since then, there just seems to be a lack of action and a lack of agency at Westminster.
“It’s definitely not over. With an 86% turnout I think Westminster should be frightened. I believe in social justice and in five or 10 years, if things don’t change, we could have another referendum, at which I’d probably be campaigning for yes.”
Phil Orford MBE, chief executive of the Forum of Private Business, said: “The fact that Scotland’s business owners and leaders spoke out on both sides of the debate highlighted the difficulty faced by many employers and employees when deciding on which way to vote.
“For all business owners, regardless of the way they voted, it is now vital that they focus on growing their businesses over the coming years with a relative platform of stability.”