It’s been another busy month in politics and business. As well as the frantic activity in the run-up to today’s General Election, there has been plenty happening on the corporate and economic front.

Big stories have included the takeover of RJ McLeod, one of Scotland’s largest civil engineering and construction companies and a real stalwart of the private company scene north of the Border, by OCU Group. OCU, based in Greater Manchester, was itself acquired by private-equity player Triton Partners in 2022.

Among the issues that have remained in focus in Scotland has been the greater income tax burden for higher earners north of the Border, relative to those in other parts of the UK. In an exclusive interview with The Herald last month, Deputy First Minister Kate Forbes said this will be kept “under review”, taking into account “how easy it is for taxpayers to shift”.

READ MORE: 'This will not be an easy year': Scotch whisky facing major headwinds

However, Ms Forbes flagged figures from HM Revenue & Customs showing more people had come to Scotland from the rest of the UK than had moved in the opposite direction, against the backdrop of devolved income tax.

In this month’s edition of Business HQ Monthly, we take a look at two things for which Scotland is rightly famous around the world: Scotch whisky and golf. Kristy Dorsey writes about the costs and benefits of staging The Open, which is set to deliver a record attendance of 250,000 for Troon this year.

Scott Wright takes a deep dive into the Scotch whisky sector. He finds distillers facing challenges in the immediate term amid continuing global economic and geopolitical uncertainty, but confident about the long-term future, following some famous re-openings. That certainly sounds like grounds for some celebration.

READ MORE: Open Championship is teed up for success but at what cost?

Separately, Scott interviews Leigh Sparks at the University of Stirling, who has over the years and decades been in high demand as an expert on the retail sector and has announced he will retire in September.

I interview Alex Paton, of Girvan-based We hae meat, which has become a familiar brand in supermarkets. He has an inspiring tale to tell.

READ MORE: 'My first suspension was triggered by them catching me writing up my sales ledger'

The University of Strathclyde’s highly regarded Fraser of Allander Institute provides its expert economic insight in our article below.

READ MORE: Ian McConnell: Kate Forbes talks frankly about Scottish income tax for higher earners

Mark McDougall looks at the business impact of the Edinburgh Fringe. Meanwhile, we examine growing recruitment company Livingston James’s move to become an employee-owned business.

READ MORE: The impact of the Fringe on business in Edinburgh and its growth to Glasgow

Fashion entrepreneur Antoinette Fionda-Douglas looks at how we are “draping ourselves in plastic” and the impact on our own health and wellbeing and, more widely, the planet.

Tech entrepreneur Ian Ritchie looks at how chip-maker Nvidia became the world’s most valuable company. In energy, Antony Harrington reports on the arrival of new interconnectors to deliver power from wind and solar to where it is needed.

And on a different and musical note, Paul English interviews Scots singer-songwriter Nina Nesbitt about the launch of her new record label.

I hope you enjoy our latest edition of Business HQ Monthly and find it both interesting and informative.