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Tuesday, 10th January 2023

Registry Trust’s publication of the figures for the third quarter of 2022 reveals a concerning picture for the businesses in Scotland. Scottish businesses have seen a dramatic increase of 237% in the number of decrees year-on-year in this quarter. The total value of business debt has seen a 56% rise as compared to the same period last year.

To have a detailed picture of the debt situation for businesses in Scotland and understand the necessity of government intervention, Registry Trust has conducted an analysis combining the regional business funding support data for 2021 from with the regional judgment data for Scottish businesses.

Our analysis is focused on the correlation between the financial resources allocated for a particular region and the future rate of debt in that area.

The research shows that the local authorities in Scotland which have been allocated the least amount of business support funding in 2021 (between £12m to £24m) have experienced the highest rates of business debt in 2022.

Conversely, areas with significantly higher business support funding (between £101m to £74m) have experienced a dramatic decrease in rates of business debt.


Note: Percentage change in the value of business debt is plotted on the right-hand axis

Additionally, further research shows that despite already having experienced an increase in debt in 2021, the following local authorities were allocated less than the average amount of business support funding. These local authorities continued to follow an increasing trend of business debt in 2022. This example demonstrates how allocation of funds based on historical judgment data may have prevented a further rise in business debt in these local authorities.

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Our analysis not only highlights the crucial role played by government support measures in providing timely and targeted assistance for struggling businesses, but also establishes how inexact allocation of funds can have a negative impact on the commercial sector.

The purpose of this analysis is to recognise the importance of data driven decision making in targeting areas which are in immediate need of support and financial assistance, while stressing the benefit of judgment data led targeted government support to maximise the benefits and ensure Scottish businesses survive the current economic crisis.