Communities across the nation are getting behind the Scotland Loves Local campaign for a more sustainable future in which people live better lives locally.
The chorus of support from people across Scotland to choose local and back businesses in their local community is growing ever louder. Towns and neighbourhoods nationwide are getting behind the Scotland Loves Local campaign as people embrace the message to think local first.
And, by doing so, they are protecting jobs, shops and services in their communities, as well as laying the foundations for a stronger, more sustainable future in which people live better lives locally.
Scotland Loves Local is leading the rallying cry for people to “choose local”. The campaign is spearheaded by Scotland’s Towns Partnership, backed by the Scottish Government.
It’s a message that supporters hope will help fuel the nation’s financial fightback from Covid-19 from its grassroots.
Scotland’s Economy Secretary, Kate Forbes, said: “The Scotland Loves Local campaign is so important for our economic recovery, locally and nationally, because it encourages people to spend their money locally and support local businesses.
“They have been key throughout the pandemic in helping us get through it, so now is the time to repay that and support them.”
All over the country, initiatives are being launched that champion that message even further and these are gaining impressive levels of support.
In Dunbartonshire hundreds of businesses are benefiting from the community drive to shop local, think local and support local businesses.
Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce chief executive Damon Scott is co-ordinating its high-profile local work in Bearsden, Bishopbriggs, Alexandria, Dumbarton, Clydebank and Balloch.
He said: “All of the areas we have been working in now have a Loves Local website featuring a business directory supported by social media, PR and advertising campaigns to promote the shop local message.
“We also printed and distributed 100,000 flyers, highlighting some of the fantastic businesses that have signed up with us in each town.
“It remains as important as ever to support our fantastic local businesses. By buying local we can all ensure that our shops, cafes, bars, restaurants, hairdressers and other businesses survive and thrive.
“It is more sustainable and better for the environment, reduces our carbon footprint and helps to build a fairer, greener society.”
In Stirling Go Forth Stirling has embraced the Scotland Loves Local campaign and the way it champions local businesses.
The Business Improvement District (BID) has also launched its own range of initiatives to support the city’s many independent traders since the start of the pandemic. These include the Independent Stirling campaign, which highlights the city’s flourishing independent scene and promotes the stories and personalities behind these unique businesses.
The BID has also been involved in the #ThistlesHelps initiative, which will see the centre giving one emerging local business the chance to take ownership of a retail unit within the Thistles free of charge for a three-month period.
Go Forth Stirling project director Danielle McRorie-Smith said: “It has never been more important to support local businesses.
“In Stirling we are lucky to have a wide range of independent traders and the city has seen more than 20 new businesses open their doors since the start of the pandemic.
“They are flourishing and we’re delighted to be able to support them with a range of initiatives like the Independent Stirling campaign, which has been welcomed by our traders since we launched the project last month.
“They are all getting involved by displaying stickers in their windows which highlight the independent scene and encourage people to shop and support local businesses.
“We’ve also filmed a promotional video for the campaign featuring 20 businesses and including a narration by Stirling’s Makar Laura Fyfe.”
Backing the calls for positive choices across the country, she added: “Always Choose Local if you can so we can make a real difference to the fortunes and futures of our hard-working local traders.”
Hamilton Business Improvement District is using money secured through the Scotland Loves Local Fund to provide a showcase for businesses in the area.
Manager Malcolm Thomas-Harley said: “One of our aims is to help people reconnect with the town centre and it’s many businesses and in turn support footfall and spending.
“Due to the funding support awarded from STP we are introducing a brand new town centre led market each Saturday in August. These markets located on the main street – Quarry Street -–will showcase our local businesses, provide new variety, family entertainment and encourage shopping in our existing BID area businesses.”
Businesses in Shawlands are among the others who have been flying the flag for the campaign’s latest phase, taking a key role in the multimedia marketing campaign supporting it.
Noelle Carroll, who has run Young’s Interesting Books on Skirving Street with husband Barry Young for 11 years, is among the traders featured.
She has noticed an increase in people supporting the businesses around them – and hopes that sense of community and pride will continue.
“It makes a big difference when people support local businesses,” she said.
“This is a vibrant place with a lot happening.”
Elsewhere across the country businesses are being urged to sign up to accept the new Scotland Loves Local Gift Card, local versions of which are to be rolled out in each of the country’s 32 local authority areas.
They will become available for consumers to use in businesses of every kind – whether these are shops, cafes, bars, restaurants, leisure or visitor attractions – later this year.
STP Chief Officer Phil Prentice is delighted with the ways in which Scotland Loves Local is being embraced across the country – and in how people in communities are responding.
He said: “The personal decisions we make about where to spend our money will have a huge impact on the lives and livelihoods of our families, friends and neighbours.
“Making the right choice – that’s putting the businesses around us first – will ensure we build stronger communities which are fit for a future which has localism at its heart.
“From Aberdeenshire to Ayrshire, the support we are seeing for the Scotland Loves Local campaign has been tremendous.
“We are looking forward to building on that even further.”
To find out how you can get involved in the Scotland Loves Local campaign, go to www.lovelocal.scot or follow #ScotlandLovesLocal and #ChooseLocal on social media.
Scotmid gets behind Scotland Loves Local
Scotmid has thrown its weight behind the Scotland Loves Local campaign, with its chief executive stressing the critical need for people to choose local.
Scotland’s largest independent retail co-operative is among those sponsoring the drive for people to support the businesses around them as they recover and rebuild from the impact of Covid-19.
Scotmid Chief Executive John Brodie said: “Scotmid’s core purpose is to serve our communities and improve people’s everyday lives, so we are delighted to support an initiative with the same objective.
“Throughout the pandemic communities have depended on local businesses working tirelessly to meet their changing needs. We must continue to support those who have been there for us; local businesses are a key part of the post-pandemic revival.
“The message to ‘think local first’ is simple but powerful. The future of businesses and jobs around us depends upon the decisions we all make. Choosing local makes a real difference.”
Scotmid staff are showing their support for the campaign by featuring in a new video that comes with a clear message: It has never been more critical to choose local.
Scotland’s Towns Partnership chief officer Phil Prentice said: “Scotmid and its staff are among those who have been there like never before for the communities they serve throughout the pandemic – going above and beyond to help their customers when they needed them most.
“We are delighted – and grateful – to them for supporting the Scotland Loves Local campaign. This sponsorship allows us to shout even louder about why it’s so important for us all to show loyalty to our communities and stick with our local businesses.”
Scotmid has 187 convenience stores across Scotland, employing more than 3,000 people.
This article is brought to you in partnership with the Scotland Loves Local initiative.