A week ago today, when we paused to reflect on the past year, our minds naturally turned to who we’ve lost and what we’ve learned.

You may also, like me, have found yourself looking ahead – wondering which of the countless changes we’ve seen to our daily lives, working practices and businesses will still be with us at this time next year.

Equally, in the public sphere, will the events of the last 12 months have any lasting effect on how government works or how our political debate is framed?

I suppose we’ll have an early indication over the next few weeks, as hundreds of Holyrood hopefuls take their case to social media, the airwaves and (should the Covid campaign rules allow) the streets.

If ever there was an election when business and economy issues should be firmly to the fore, this is it. Rebuilding the public finances, people’s decimated personal finances, local communities and, above all, hope, can only be done on the foundations of a strong economy.

I dare say there might be at least one other issue that gets the odd mention, but there needs to be space for a proper discussion about economic recovery. The parties’ plans for boosting business merit just the same level of detailed scrutiny as, say, some finer points of the constitutional debate.

And what sort of shape should those plans take? Well, at FSB we’ve been calling for the next government to deliver a Small Business Recovery Act in the first year of the new parliament.

This would bring together a host of the practical recovery measures that require primary legislation. It could, for example, extract maximum economic value from public spending by enshrining in law binding local procurement targets for public bodies. Considering that the devolved public sector only places five per cent of its £14 billion annual spend on goods and services with the smallest businesses, you can see how a small change in policy could deliver a big return in practice.

The roots of much of what hampers small businesses lie in clumsily designed, if perfectly well-intentioned, initiatives – often from parts of government miles away from the economy brief. Thus, this sort of Recovery Act could establish a specialist small business unit to advise Ministers, catching moves likely to burden micro-businesses disproportionately.

This would also help keep overheads down (or at least prevent them from rising needlessly). A lid on running costs is key to many firms’ survival – and the parties could reassure them by, for example, pledging to retain the Small Business Bonus rates relief scheme, while freezing, reducing or deferring all other fees the public sector levies on business.

The pandemic also reminded us of the disparity in the support available for those who are self-employed and that enjoyed by employees.

Scotland’s 330,000 self-employed individuals will therefore be keen to see the parties’ plans for addressing this – not least if any adopt the FSB’s call for “bread funds”, which offer collective insurance for things like sick pay, often prohibitively expensive for those working for themselves.

One area guaranteed to feature on the campaign trail is the environment. It’s important, though, that these conversations don’t overlook the huge economic potential of giving small and micro contractors a fair chance to bid successfully for the work needed to meet our climate change commitments.

If the pandemic has taught us one thing about how we support businesses and free them to drive growth, it’s that details matter. And that’s why, in this unique election campaign, our eye should be drawn to the fine detail, just as much as the big picture.

Colin Borland is director of devolved nations for the Federation of Small Businesses