Dr Liz Cameron OBE

Dr Liz Cameron OBE

Expert commentary by Dr Liz Cameron OBE, Director and Chief Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce

Companies across the UK have suffered a shock that has had no equal in the living memory of those who lead or work for them. Now more than ever it is essential that we share our successes in overcoming the challenges that have impacted almost every part of our economy. This is why we welcome London Stock Exchange Group’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain 2020, which highlights those companies that have embraced uncertainty to not just survive but also thrive.

As Scotland’s leading business organisation, representing 30 local chambers of commerce, the SCC Network has thousands of members that have stared adversity in the eye and continued on. Some of them have adapted quickly to grasp new opportunities that have arisen as a result of dramatic changes in the market and to regulation. Others have battened down hatches in order to weather the storm brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some will have emerged stronger, others less so, while there are fears some may not emerge at all.

All have shown resilience and determination. These are key attributes of those involved in building and growing a successful business and a sustainable economy.

Businesses are now also looking to move forward. While the pandemic brought sudden changes for employers, employees and customers alike, prior to this the departure of the UK from the European Union brought its own uncertainties to bear. As businesses in Scotland emerged from the lockdown and grappled with the size and sentiment of the domestic market, a number have been factoring in what trade will look like. As new barriers, both trade and non-trade, are made clear to businesses with customers in the EU, the will to widen horizons to further markets increases.

Through change comes transformation and the Scottish Chamber Network is working tirelessly to translate the aims and visions of businesses to policymakers across local, national and international governments. This will become increasingly important as change driven in the wake of the recent crisis aims towards an ambitious future, including the move towards a net-zero economy. The voice of business is crucial to the delivery of a credible, sustainable recovery that supports the energy transition. Alongside these we will also continue our work to ensure the skills of the workforce meet other changes on the way, such as those being driven by sweeping strides in technology and automation.

Time waits for no one. And as we race towards the end of 2020, there will be manifold versions of what success looks like. This showcase of 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain must continue to do just that, highlighting the innovation, endurance and ambition for this generation of businessmen and women as well as the next.