By Scott Wright

THE trading background is constantly shifting, but thankfully for the Scottish economy, some things remain the same.

Although Brexit continues to obscure the outlook, leading many companies to put expansion plans on hold, the leading family firms in Scotland are continuing to grow and prosper.

As revealed by The Herald today, the latest analysis by consultancy Family Business United underscores the vital contribution family-owned firms continue to make to the Scottish economy and society.

The report found Scotland’s top 100 family enterprises grew their collective turnover and profits during the period under review, and employed 950 more than they did at the same stage the previous year.

At a time when the precise nature of Brexit remains unknown (if, indeed, it happens at all), and with so little visibility on how it will impact on how businesses in Scotland operate, it is surely fair to describe such growth as a significant achievement.

Of course, not every family business in Scotland is flourishing. Indeed, the business pages of The Herald this year have seen no shortage of firms toiling and, in some cases, falling into insolvency.

Often this is because of the challenging market conditions which have been all too prevalent since the Brexit vote three years ago.

Encouragingly, however, there are plenty of family businesses which are charting their way through the gloom.

And not only are they merely surviving, they are continuing to grow and, despite the uncertainty, investing for the long-term. Unlike companies listed on the stock market, which face continual pressure to generate short-term dividends, successful family-owned firms can look beyond the next trading statement. It is a freedom which has ensured many have survived for generations, and will endure for many more years to come.