KIM Alexandra, from Moray, has been running businesses in the Highlands for 25 years.

She previously ran a sweet shop but delivery costs spiralled. She said one wholesale company used to deliver free on all orders over £150 but now requires a minimum spend of £1000.

Now running two jewellery businesses - Smith Jewellers in Forres and Castle Jewellers in Nairn - she said she has encountered similar problems. Deliveries can cost around £80-£100 to a Highland postcode. She said: "We're about 20 miles from AB postcodes, so sometimes it's easier just to get stuff delivered there and then drive over to pick it up myself.

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"It's definitely been getting worse."