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Shop local campaign supported by Banff councillor

By Kyle Ritchie

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Banff and District councillor Glen Reynolds has given his backing to the campaign which has been launched to shop local to help fuel the economic recovery.

Scotland’s Towns Partnership has launched Scotland Loves Local – in association with the Scottish Government – encouraging everyone to support the businesses which are at the heart of their home communities.

The campaign follows publication of new polling figures which showed two thirds of Scottish residents intended to shop locally once their high streets reopen post-Coronavirus and that the successful future of town centres depends on support at a local level.

Banff and District councillor Glen Reynolds has supported the Scotland Loves Local campaign.
Banff and District councillor Glen Reynolds has supported the Scotland Loves Local campaign.

Businesses across the country have been working with Business Improvement Districts, local authorities and others to put in place arrangements which mean people can shop locally, but safely.

These arrangements include the use of screens, distance markers and signage, the provision of hand sanitiser in stores and capacity limits.

It comes at a time when the need to safely and responsibly support town centres has never been greater following the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Councillor Reynolds said: “These last few months have been hard for many of our town centre businesses and other small enterprises.

"As chairman of the Banff Development Partnership I have seen how local businesses, charities such as Rotary, and council officers, have all strived together to seek ways of emerging from the Covid crisis and protect our retail economy.

"Whereas stores like the Spotty Bag have been shining lights throughout this storm, many local businesses are emerging from a recovery point of uncertainty as to whether and how they can survive.

“Throughout Banff and District ward, local businesses have struggled during the Covid crisis and through their resilience and commitment to the area they serve, they remain at the heart of community.

"Many have been forced to temporarily close throughout lockdown, with customers instead turning to large internet retailers.

"I therefore very much welcome this initiative and hope people will support their local businesses.”

Scotland Loves Local will highlight the fact that it is the people behind the businesses which make high streets special – not simply the buildings and shop units which are found on them.

It also encourages people to show their support safely, following all social distancing and hygiene guidance shared by the Scottish Government as part of the ongoing vigilance to keep rates of Covid-19 suppressed.

Chief officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership Phil Prentice said: “The impact of coronavirus has hit our town centres and local businesses hard.

"Now is the time for us all to support them to get back on their feet in a way which recognises that we still need to stay safe and follow the public health guidelines.

“By thinking local first, we can help Scotland’s economic recovery from its grassroots, supporting our town centres within all of the public safety guidelines. The impact we can have by doing this should not be underestimated.

“The breadth of businesses in our town centres is vast. Whether you need a book, a pint of milk, a night out and a meal or some garden furniture, please think local first.

“Scotland Loves Local is all about getting people back to their roots and recognising that our town centre businesses and the people who run them are part of the fabric of our communities.

"Sometimes for generations these people have been there for us. Now it’s time for us to be there for them.

"One of the great positives of the terrible times in which we have found ourselves has been the greater appreciation of localism.

"We must now harness that to keep our communities vibrant and lay firm foundations as we work to ensure our town centres are fit for the future.”

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