Kate Forbes seemed happy, to say the least, when she was appointed as Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for the Economy and Gaelic on Wednesday, as anyone who saw the array of press pictures would surely concur.

And some senior business figures, while perhaps not as ebullient as Ms Forbes, were clearly also happy about the senior roles she had been given in the Scottish Government.

This was notable, given the animosity towards the SNP from large sections of the business community in recent times.

It was of course no surprise to hear that Ms Forbes would play a key part in the Scottish Government, given Mr Swinney had promised her a senior role. The Deputy First Minister post had always looked likely to go the way of Ms Forbes, who decided not to run for leader this time and backed Mr Swinney, although what would happen with the economy and finance briefs was probably less clear.

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Giving the economy role to Ms Forbes makes perfect sense, given she held this post before in conjunction with the finance brief. Shona Robison will no longer be deputy first minister, of course, but remains Cabinet Secretary for Finance in Mr Swinney’s new line-up.

To say that the SNP has not had its troubles to seek in recent times with the business community would probably be a gentle euphemism.

Mr Swinney’s predecessor, Humza Yousaf, appeared to make valiant enough efforts on this front. However, the business community, while initially welcoming a pledge to have a deeper dialogue, gradually became more discontented.

In some cases, this was because desired policies, such as hospitality’s wish to be granted the temporary business rates relief offered to the sector south of the Border, were not delivered by Mr Yousaf.

The increased extra income tax burden for higher earners in Scotland, compared with the rest of the UK, did not seem to go down well either.

Interestingly Ms Forbes, who lost to Mr Yousaf in last year’s leadership contest and appeared to be favoured by the business community at that stage, intervened in the income tax debate after the differential was widened in last December’s Scottish Budget.

Writing in a Highland newsletter - the Mail on Sunday reported earlier this year - Ms Forbes declared: “Continually increasing taxes is ultimately counter-productive over the long term, even if you agree with it ideologically, because it ultimately reduces public revenue.

“The forecasts for what the Scottish Government will raise through its latest changes to the top tax bands is just over £80 million. That isn’t to be sniffed at. But the forecasts also suggest they’ll lose £118m they could have raised because of behavioural change – people leaving or reducing their hours or treating their income differently. That illustrates we need to invest in people, in job creation, and in better wages. That way the tax take will increase.”

The forecast of £118m is from the Scottish Fiscal Commission, relating to the reduced yield it sees from behavioural change in 2024/25. The Scottish Fiscal Commission produces official, independent economic and fiscal forecasts to accompany the Scottish Government’s Budget cycle.

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The Scottish Retail Consortium was quick, in the wake of the announcement of Ms Forbes’ roles in Mr Swinney’s administration, to compliment her on having “rolled up her sleeves” to retain the uniform business rate when she was previously in the Cabinet, and also highlighted her swift action to deliver support to the sector amid the pandemic.

It would be fair to say the SRC has not in recent times been full of praise for the Scottish Government, so this seemed like an interesting change of tone.

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SRC director David Lonsdale said: “The Scottish Retail Consortium congratulates Kate Forbes on becoming Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for the Economy. She worked closely with Scotland’s retailers in her previous ministerial roles, particularly over the Non-Domestic Rates Bill where she rolled up her sleeves to retain the uniform business rate, and during the Covid pandemic where she moved swiftly to implement measures on business support.”

Mr Lonsdale, meanwhile, highlighted the challenges faced recently and those to come, and expressed hopes for a “refreshed” growth plan.

He said: “Ms Forbes takes office at a critical juncture for the economy after four years of fallout from the pandemic and costs crunch. We look forward to working constructively with her and her fellow ministers to ensure the economy is the priority of priorities and hopefully deliver a refreshed plan for economic growth. After all, an expanding economy is good for living standards and job prospects as well as government revenues.”

There was also praise on Wednesday for Ms Forbes from the Scottish Hospitality Group, which has come across as one of the most vociferous critics of the Scottish Government in recent times.

Stephen Montgomery, director of the Scottish Hospitality Group, said: “Kate Forbes is an excellent appointment and is someone we have worked closely with previously in her role as Cab Sec for Finance, and the Scottish Hospitality Group [looks] forward to early and meaningful engagement, with an ongoing working relationship with Mr Swinney and his Cabinet.”

Mr Montgomery said that the hospitality sector group was “encouraged by the words from Mr Swinney that he has vowed to have a focus on the economy”.

The Scottish Hospitality Group director added: “Now is the time where we all need to dig deeper, for the betterment of the Scottish hospitality sector. Only by working together, with business, will we make better policy, and the Scottish Hospitality Group [stands] ready as always to help make the changes needed. The culture of telling businesses what to do, instead of talking to them, needs to stop.”

His “needs to stop” declaration suggests that the Scottish Hospitality Group also stands ready to continue to make its views known robustly where it sees the need.

However, the positive comment about the focus on the economy and the description of Ms Forbes’ appointment as “excellent” represent a somewhat dramatic change of tone from the Scottish Hospitality Group, which counts Buzzworks, The DRG, Signature Pubs, Lisini, McGinty’s Group, and SimpsInns among its membership.

The Confederation of British Industry did not focus on Ms Forbes, in its comments on Mr Swinney’s new Cabinet.

However, its tone seemed slightly on the positive side of neutral.

Mags Simpson, interim CBI Scotland director, said: “Businesses will welcome the First Minister’s commitment to make the economy, jobs and tackling the cost of living crisis key pillars of his new government. With delivering sustainable economic growth critical to achieving those ambitions, we offer our congratulations to Kate Forbes on becoming the Deputy First Minister, with responsibility for the economy. We look forward to working with Ms Forbes and Shona Robison, the Finance Secretary.”

The generally positive tone from business could, of course, dissipate swiftly if the new administration does not deliver what is desired.

For now, however, Mr Swinney and Ms Forbes could certainly not have expected anything more from a business community that proved, to put it mildly, rather difficult to please for their predecessors.