Glasgow is top in the UK for getting behind independent businesses

The city has come out on top in a study to determine which areas are most supportive towards small local companies.

It ranked first for the highest number of independent pubs and newsagents and second in the food and restaurants categories.

The news has been welcomed by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Scotland, which urged the people of Glasgow to continuing backing independent firms.

Hisashi Kuboyama, the organisation's development manager for Glasgow, said: "Anyone that knows Glasgow would recognise this research showing that our city is a small business hotspot.

"From the city centre, to the up and coming south side, to the leafy west end - in all of these areas we see fantastic local operators delivering brilliant products and service while injecting character and culture into our neighbourhoods."

The research, conducted by business finance provider Liberis, looked at the number of local businesses per capita in 20 major cities.

It analysed the number of independent stores per city combined with a penalty score for the number of big chains.

Leicester was the top English city, coming second on the list, while Edinburgh ranked tenth.

Mr Kuboyama said: "If we want Glasgow's smaller firms to thrive, people need to support them.

"This needn't be a chore and might mean going for a pint in the local pub, or buying something nice for tea in the local deli, butcher or fishmonger, or even seeking out the independent book or music shop.

"Further, political decision-makers need to do everything in their power to help smaller firms' thrive - like ensuring their needs are considered when transport changes are proposed or doing what they can to keep down business overheads."

Tom Moore, a director at Piece, an independent sandwich chain with six retail units across the city, said: "We've been in business since 2008 and there's been ups and downs.

"The climate, in the food sector, for independent businesses has grown. When we started out, people were using big chains, we were up against Pret and McDonalds.

"People still use them, they have their place but people in Glasgow are quite discerning.

"In Finnieston, Battlefield and Shawlands, the number of places now is incredible. The difference in the last four years is that they are opening and staying open.

"I think it is down to the people of Glasgow simply following with their feet."

Mr Moore echoed the FSB's call for more support. "There's a lot of good ideas, robust business plans but rent and rates go up too much." he said.

Source: Evening Times