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An infographic from the Federation of Small Businesses - Small Business Index Scotland Q2

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STP Funding Workshop 

STP along with key funding partners are set for another great Funding Workshop.  This time taking place in Edinburgh on 16th September 2015, the workshop looks to inspire and give confidence to attendees to apply for funding and make their project a reality! Jean Robertson, SLOG will present on the funding support available through your local authority, funding expert Michael McKernan, East Renfrewshire Council will look to inform and inspire with our funding partners providing top tips and forthcoming opportunities. 

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The approval by the Scottish Parliament of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill this week presents a great opportunity for communities to shape their future and the places where they live and work.

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A brand new £200,000 events fund created to develop activity to celebrate Scotland's achievements in innovation, architecture and design is now open and we are welcoming applications from the events and festivals sector across Scotland for grants of up to £20,000. 

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The time is right for further improvements to the nation’s planning system, Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil will underline at a planning conference in Edinburgh tomorrow

10 years since planning reform began with the publication of a white paper, Mr Neil will soon announce plans to consult on further reforms to the planning system.

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Scotland's national walking and cycling charities have called for policy changes to get people more active and improve the country's health. Seven organisations who champion walking, cycling and sustainable transport are involved.

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The Great British High Street Competition 2015 is now open so make sure you get your entries in!  Following the huge success of the 2014 Awards, we are once again looking for the nation’s best high streets. 

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The Scottish Government is ahead of its five-year target to deliver 30,000 affordable homes by March 2016, despite a decrease in the number of social sector homes being built.

New statistics have revealed that a total of 3,353 social sector homes were completed in the year to end December, a decrease of 24 per cent (1,050 homes) on the previous year.

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The Resource Efficient Scotland SME Loan scheme has now opened for new applications. Funded by the Scottish Government, the loan could help you reduce your business’s overhead costs through improved energy, material resource and/or water efficiency.

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Margaret McCulloch MSP, Convener for the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Towns and Town Centres, is encouraging fellow MSPs to follow her lead and visit their towns as part of a summer campaign led by the Group and the go-to body for towns, Scotland’s Towns Partnership. The campaign, ‘Connecting MSPs with Scotland's towns’, aims to help promote and support our towns.

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The gateway town to one of Britain's most iconic long distance walks has opened up to the world thanks to leading UK WiFi expert 802 Event WiFi.

From next month, (June 12 -15) Milngavie town centre will offer free WiFi to international visitors, West Highland Way walkers and local shoppers in the town's busy pedestrian precinct as part of a new scheme promoted by local businesses in Milngavie Business Improvement District (BID).

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Essay of the week: Dreamscapes: imagining the perfect Scottish town

FOR a long time, it has been depressing to visit many of the towns that, historically, formed the bedrock of Scotland's industry and culture; places that, first as a native son and then as the child of economic migrants, I used to regard with deep-rooted, defiant pride - in spite of their defects.

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The Scottish Government-funded bus service to support the Falkirk area’s major tourism drive was officially launched this week at the Falkirk Wheel with the unveiling of its distinctive new bus design.

The new hourly bus service, named The Loop, is funded by Transport Scotland and operated by local bus operator First Midland Bluebird and has been launched by Falkirk Council to boost connections between the area’s world class tourist attractions and other road and rail services over the summer season. The Loop takes in The Falkirk Wheel, Falkirk High and Grahamston Stations, Falkirk Town Centre, Falkirk Stadium, Callander Park and The Kelpies, with dedicated bus stop signs featuring VisitFalkirk branding to help signpost visitors to the route.

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Applications will open on June 1st for any small business owner interested in being part of this year’s Small Biz 100, the companies around the UK that will be at the forefront of this year’s campaign. Now entering its third year Small Business Saturday is already the UK's most successful small business campaign. Last year 16.5 million adults went out to support a small business on Small Business Saturday with 64% of the UK aware of the campaign. The UK’s small businesses between them provide 60% of private sector jobs and nearly 50% of private sector turnover. 

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In 2013 the Carnegie UK Trust published the popular report Across the Divide, which examined digital exclusion in Glasgow. This new research, produced in partnership with Ipsos MORI, examines the same issues in Dumfries and Kirkcaldy – looking at the barriers to digital participation and how these can be best addressed.

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Sponsored By …Connecting Scotland's Towns