Business leaders have called for urgent action and policy rethinks from the next First Minister in the wake of Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation.

Tributes to Ms Sturgeon’s commitment came alongside a signal to “correct regulatory policies which are not practically working for businesses”.

They said the First Minister's shock departure will bring the “end of an era” for Scotland.

It comes after companies clashed head-on with Holyrood over contentious policies. There has been opposition to the timing of the introduction of a deposit-return scheme some see as costly and unwieldy in its current form.

There was outcry over an advertising ban on alcohol advertising, prompting Ms Sturgeon to row back on the extent of the proposals.

A rent freeze later replaced by a rent cap was claimed to have created a more accentuated imbalance on the rental market.

Liz Cameron, chief executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, paid tribute to Ms Sturgeon’s dedication during her tenure.

She said: "Regardless of political persuasion, we can all agree that the First Minister has been a committed, dedicated and passionate public servant for Scotland.”

However, Ms Cameron also said: “Urgency, action and partnership will be the watchwords from the business community.

"These will be essential parameters to create a business environment in Scotland which is growth-led and competitive.

“We will continue to work with the next First Minister as genuine partners as we collectively grow the economy as well as correcting regulatory policies which are not practically working for businesses.”

Catherine McWilliam, director at the Institute of Directors, Scotland, said: “Nicola Sturgeon’s decision to resign as First Minister is without doubt the end of an era and we would like to thank her for her support for Scotland’s business community over the last 16 years.

"Equally, we look forward to working alongside her successor to ensure that government policymaking accelerates the potential for businesses to thrive in this country in future.”

Timothy Douglas, head of policy and campaigns at Propertymark, the property industry body made up of five combined sector associations, said: “We’ve seen the introduction of letting agent regulation and registration, increased tax burdens on those wishing to buy property as a landlord or second homeowner and more recently a continued desire from her [Ms Sturgeon's] administration to introduce damaging long-term rent control measures.

“A change of leadership can often lead to a shift in focus but on its own is unlikely to restore confidence among investors who ultimately can unlock increased supply for tenants and better-quality homes for all.”

Read the full business reaction to Nicola Sturgeon's resignation in tomorrow's print edition

Politicians react to Nicola Sturgeon's resignation amid party divisions

SNP politicians have given their reaction to the sudden announcement of Nicola Sturgeon that she is to resign as party leader and First Minister.

Westminster chief Stephen Flynn, who took over in December after mounting criticism from inside the party of Ian Blackford's performance in the post, said she will be "sorely missed".

Airline to be wound down as administrators fail to find buyer

Troubled airline Flybe is to be wound down after administrators failed to find a buyer.

David Pike and Mike Pink from Interpath Advisory, the joint administrators of Flybe Limited, said discussions with parties over a sale of the business have now concluded, without a positive result.

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