Scottish Conservative Party leader Ruth Davidson MSP found much to praise when she visited Dunbar businesses this week.
She made the rounds of two small firms, accompanied by the Conservative East Lothian candidate for the Scottish Parliament election, Rachael Hamilton.
Both Ms Davidson and Ms Hamilton visited Thistly Cross Cider and The Store at Belhaven Fruit Farm.
There, they spoke to business owners about what more can be done to help support small businesses in the region.
Speaking after the visit, Ruth Davidson MSP said: “My party is firmly on the side of small businesses, which are the beating heart of Scotland’s economy.
“From relatively new and growing companies like Peter and Ian’s at Thistly Cross Cider to well established family run businesses like The Store, we need these entrepreneurs to help grow our economy and provide jobs.
“Businesses have been through a tough time recently but it seems the outlook about the future is positive in East Lothian.
“It was really good to see the range of businesses in the county, but the Scottish Government needs to do more to support them by reducing barriers to business growth and ensuring our youngsters are given the necessary skills for employment.”
Sandy Leckie of The Store said after the visit: “They spent about 45 minutes here and we had a good chat regarding how fast the Store had grown in two and a half years, and the plans for the future and how this can be achieved.”
Scottish Conservative and Unionist Candidate, Rachael Hamilton, added: “It was an absolute pleasure to show Ruth around three excellent East Lothian businesses.
“As a small business owner myself, I know how difficult it can be to set up a successful company and how frustrating barriers to growth can be.
“In East Lothian we are blessed with fantastic produce like Thistly Cross Cider and Belhaven Fruit.
“But we need to ensure that businesses like these are supported by low taxation and a well-educated work force.”
Ms Hamilton added: “With so much new housing planned for East Lothian, there is a real opportunity for new businesses in East Lothian, provided we get the infrastructure right.”
East Lothian Council recently concluded a legal agreement worth £8.3 million, to buy 71 flats and houses on two sites at Hallhill, Dunbar, from Mansell Homes - part of the Balfour Beatty group.
The houses will become part of the council’s housing stock, with the first homes ready by summer 2016.