New Scottish business body to grow economy
Scottish businesses are to team up with politicians and finance experts in a bid to develop an action plan to grow the economy.
The new National Business Convention will come into being next summer, after May's Holyrood election.
It is the brain child of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and the Scottish Council Development and Industry (SCDI).
The plan has received backing from Finance Secretary John Swinney.
Andy Willox, of the FSB in Scotland, said small businesses would lead the economic recovery.
He added: "It is vital that government at all levels makes the choices which will give us the tools for the job."
Mr Swinney said the plan was "an important and timely platform for constructive dialogue".
According to Lesley Sawers of SCDI "unprecedented times require concerted action".
The organisation believes that in a reduced spending environment, it was essential that Scotland's business and civic organisations worked together with politicians to ensure the right decisions were made to secure and drive forward the recovery.
Labour's Andy Kerr said an incoming Labour government next year would make economic growth and the defence of jobs its top priorities, with training and job opportunities for young people to the fore:
He added: "If we are to be successful, we need to listen to the views of the business community and civic society."
Derek Brownlee, of the Scottish Conservatives, said the next administration elected at Holyrood would have to work with business to ensure a more balanced economy, while the Lib Dem Jeremy Purvis commented the National Business Convention would be a "welcome catalyst" for getting a government for all of Scotland to work in partnership with civic and business leaders.