Scotland’s rural businesses are being held back by parcel delivery surcharges and poor broadband – according to new research published today by Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS).
1 in 5 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have told us they ‘could not function’ without the postal service, with a further 72% saying the Post Office is very or fairly important to their business. However, nearly a quarter have to pay additional surcharges due to their location and 21% experience delivery delays for the same reason.
Meanwhile one third of SMEs report a poor or variable broadband service, with the figure rising to 45% in remote rural areas.
These figures are published today in a new CAS report, ‘Delivering for Business: Scottish SMEs use of postal services.’
Publishing the report, CAS Chief Executive Derek Mitchell says,
“The success of small and medium sized businesses is key to economic growth, particularly in rural areas where hospitality, agriculture and construction businesses contribute significantly to the financial health of their local community.
"But to flourish in more remote areas requires good digital connectivity and an effective postal system. One third of Scotland’s SMEs have told us that broadband is poor or ‘variable’ in their area; with this figure rising to 45% in remote rural areas. This simply isn't good enough if we want all regions of Scotland to prosper.
"We will be sharing this data with the UK and Scottish governments and with postal service providers to inform future policymaking. Scotland needs postal and broadband services that are reliable, efficient and affordable."