As those generous Parliamentary authorities have given us MPs an extra week of recess I decided to spend that week touring the industrial estates of West Fife to get a feel for how these businesses were coping in the recession.
And so far I have found a tremendous fighting spirit from almost everyone I meet. The recession is not hitting all businesses uniformly as different markets have been affected in different way. For example customers are seeking repairs rather than buying new whether that be a car or a house. So some businesses benefit from changes like this and others are adapting to the new circumstances.
Take Kenny's Music in Elgin Street. Owner Kenny Graham (pictured with me above) took over after Sound Control went bust just when the banks started to get into trouble. But Kenny is shrewd businessman. He knows his market and his customers. The quality of service and advice attracts the wise customer from far and wide who want the confidence to know what they are buying is good quality and right for them. I am confident he will make that business thrive.
I'm not saying that all is rosy in the garden - far from it. Some businesses, especially those connected to the building industry, have seen a considerable drop in trade.
We need a financial stimulus to boost trade and build confidence at this crucial time. I favour building more social housing, new railway lines and investing in renewable energy schemes - it's important we boost the economy in a sustainable way. However, the businesspeople I have met on the first half of my four day tour are fighters who haven't spent years building up a business only to see it collapse in a recession.