Aug 1 2012 By Jackie Grant
MORE than 500 businesses in Dumfries and Galloway are at risk of going bust in the next year.
And the construction industry could be the hardest hit with almost a third of firms in danger.
The statistics, compiled by R3, the Insolvency Trade Body, show that there are concerns for 466 local businesses, including 72 in the high risk category.
Reacting to the report, Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown said: "These shocking figures lay bare the dire state of our local economy and paint a bleak picture for the months ahead.
"The grim reality is that while many good local businesses have already gone to the wall, it looks like the worst may still be to come.
"These figures are a wake- up call and will set alarm bells ringing.
"The clock is ticking for many local companies and the priority must be helping them to keep going.
"Our region is in the midst of a crisis but there is no plan to get our economy growing. The Government needs to get its head out of the sand and recognise they need to change course."
Lee Manning, R3 president, added: "It is clear that companies across Scotland and the UK as a whole are struggling in the face of tough economic conditions.
"Those companies currently in the high risk category will find it hard to withstand a sudden change in circumstances, such as the loss of a major customer or change in interest rates.
"We would urge any company that is worried about its financial future, to seek professional restructuring advice before it is too late."