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Shoppers across the region are being urged to choose local this Christmas and celebrate the very best that the region has to offer.
The Scotland Loves Local campaign is calling on everyone to show their support for businesses in their area ‒ a festive shift that they hope will hand a lasting gift towards building a better future for the north and north-east.
“Whether you’re looking for the finest food or the perfect presents for your family, we know this can all be sourced from businesses in your community,” said Phil Prentice, chief officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP).
“Christmas is always a critical time for local businesses, but perhaps never more so than this festive season after so many have weathered another year of disruption because of the steps which have had to be taken to manage the risks caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
“People who run and work in businesses which are at the heart of our communities ‒ many of which have been there for generations ‒ need our support. Their survival depends upon it.”
STP is the organisation spearheading Scotland Loves Local with the support of the Scottish Government and others, working with business groups and other organisations across the Highlands, Moray and Aberdeenshire.
It’s message is clear: To think, choose and spend local.
The call to action is one that has already been supported by businesses across the region.
Nairn Connects Business Improvement District is among those which has repeatedly encouraged people to think local first as part of the campaign.
Inverness Business Improvement District has been another vocal backer, with manager Mike Smith saying: “It has never been more important for local people to shop local, think local and support our local enterprises.”
New Scotland Loves Local gift cards are also being rolled out, locking money into local economies and providing another way in which people can show their support for businesses of all kinds in their area. Each card can only be spent in a specific local authority area.
Moray Council is among those championing the scheme.
Councillor Graham Leadbitter, chair of the Moray Economic Partnership, said: “The Moray Loves Local Gift Card holds the power to drive significant spending across our local economy, helping secure jobs and build a more sustainable, vibrant future for communities.”
The ways in which people can support local businesses of all kinds have never been greater.
Phil Prentice added: “The best Christmas is undoubtedly a local Christmas. Whether shopping, or looking for somewhere to meet friends or enjoy time with family, we hope that everyone will choose local and then make a resolution to continue putting their local businesses first.“Doing so will create a better future for us all.”
For more information about the Scotland Loves Local campaign, go to www.lovelocal.scot