ONE-FIFTH of small businesses in Scotland have adopted new digital technologies during the coronavirus pandemic, according to research.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) surveyed 758 companies in Scotland between April 22 and 30 at the height of measures put in place to curb the outbreak. It found around one in seven (15%) firms had either started selling online for the first time or expanded their online offering during lockdown measures.

One in 20 (5%) said the pandemic had led to them introducing new services and 8% have introduced new products. Previous research found 53% of firms in Scotland have been forced to temporarily close since the outbreak began, compared to just over four in 10 (41%) across the UK. Andrew McRae, FSB’s Scotland policy chairman, said: “Half of Scotland’s smaller firms had to close during this crisis but among the remainder, we see an impressive level of innovation and drive.

“We’ve seen everyone from micro-breweries to local shops switch to home deliveries. We’ve seen yoga instructors offer remote classes and office-based firms embrace technology to stay in business.

“With silver linings in short supply during this difficult period, we must help firms build on this digital momentum.”

The FSB report – Finding our Feet: Small Businesses and the Coronavirus Outbreak – suggests reopening childcare will be key to getting the wider economy back on its feet.