THE Scotland Loves Local drive will urge consumers to buy on their local high street to help businesses bounce back.
A major new campaign urging people to shop local first to support retailers was launched today.
Scotland Loves Local has been unveiled by Scotland’s Towns Partnership as part of efforts to support local businesses to fight back against coronavirus-induced challenges.
The campaign urges people to “take care and think local first”
It encourages people to support shops, cafes, bars and restaurants on their own high streets and to do that responsibly by following all hygiene and social distancing guidelines.
Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP) chief officer 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 high streets within all of the public safety guidelines.
“The impact we can have by doing this should not be underestimated.
“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.”
Polling for STP shows strong support in Scotland for local high streets and towns and the businesses trading there.
The poll which surveyed more than 1,000 Scottish adults found that:
- 66% say they are going to prioritise shopping locally when the high streets reopen following coronavirus restrictions
- 64% say the future of their town centre depends on whether or not local people support them; and,
- 88% say it is vital that the general public support their local high street.
Professor Leigh Sparks, a professor of retail studies and a deputy principal at the University of Stirling, said: “There is a sense of place and desire to see local stores, businesses and towns succeed and a recognition that this depends in part on local residents supporting local places.”
The launch of Scotland Loves Local has been welcomed by organisations including the National Farmers’ Union of Scotland (NFUS), which recently wrote an open letter to shoppers asking them to support domestic food production and to call for risk and reward across the whole food supply chain to be shared.
NFUS president Andrew McCornick, said: “As food producers, Scottish farmers, crofters and growers take great pride in what they produce – meeting some of the highest production and welfare standards in the world in order to guarantee the delivery of quality Scottish food and drink to tables throughout the country.
“Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the backing given to Scottish farming, food and drink has been unprecedented and has reinforced that shoppers value healthy, nutritious, local produce and the standards to which it has been grown or reared. It is clear that Scotland Loves Local.
“NFU Scotland is delighted to support this campaign to boost the high street, and with it the butchers, farm shops, greengrocers and hospitality businesses which source from Scotland’s extensive larder. Shopping local means you are supporting all the businesses involved in bringing high-quality produce from farm to fork.”