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Glasgow shoppers urged to ‘stay local, stay safe’ as Covid-19 restrictions ease

Scotland Loves Local campaign poll shows strong Christmas support for stores in city’s local shopping areas as Government lifts Level 4 measures 

Shoppers across Glasgow are being urged to think safety first, local first and support stores in their community as coronavirus restrictions covering the region ease.

Town centre leaders have made the appeal as a poll for the Scotland Loves Local campaign found that three-quarters of people in the city agree it’s important they back local businesses when Christmas shopping.

Non-essential shops closed as part of Level 4 Covid-19 mitigation measures will be allowed to reopen from 6am today (Friday).

And, as people look to complete their Christmas gift buying, Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP) – the organisation spearheading Scotland Loves Local – and the Byres Road & Lanes Business Improvement District are urging shoppers to prioritise supporting shops close to them before travelling further afield.

© Sandy young Photography 07970 268944 Celebration of ScotlandÕs Small and Rural Towns at the Scottish Parliament E: sandy@scottishphotographer.com W: www.scottishphotographer.com

STP Chief Officer Phil Prentice said: “There are a fantastic range of shops in local shopping areas across Glasgow. The best Christmas present we can give our local high streets is for people to shop as close to home as they can, supporting shops there, whether in person or online.

“With the festive season vital for the survival of so many businesses, it’s never been more important to think local first.

“Staying local is also the most sensible thing we can do. While we want people to support their local high streets, we’re asking them to do so safely, within all public health rules and not to all rush to major shopping centres at once.”

Shops across Glasgow are pleased to see the return of in-store trading.

John Turner, Chairman of the Byres Road & Lanes Business Improvement District, said: “We are very much looking forward to welcoming customers back.

“Businesses have put a lot of care and attention into making sure their premises are Covid-safe and customers can shop or eat with confidence. By staying local ahead of this festive season you will make a real difference, keeping the spend  in the locality, and helping all the businesses that give Byres Road & the Lanes their unique character.”

Polling commissioned by the Scotland Loves Local campaign has confirmed the strong will of shoppers to support local businesses this festive season. In Glasgow, it found:

  • Three quarters of people (77%) agreed it’s important they do as much Christmas shopping as they can from their local high street, either in store or online, rather than going further afield.
  • Almost two-thirds (64%) of those questioned said they would go into stores on their local high street to do some Christmas shopping.
  • 75% said they would do some Christmas shopping from stores on their local high street online where able to do so.

Phil Prentice added: “We know that more local businesses than ever before are operating online. So, whether in person or on the internet, we must all think local first. It’s critical to supporting our communities through the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

People are asked not to inundate small shops and think about how and when to shop to avoid overcrowding.

Scotland’s Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said: “Money spent locally is more likely to stay in the local economy and support local jobs.

“This Christmas, I want to encourage people to think how they can safely support this. I want to appeal to all Christmas shoppers to make sure they stay safe, protect themselves and others by following the FACTS guidance, and ensure towns and shops are not overwhelmed so we are not spreading the virus.

“Covid-19 has meant everyone has experienced a difficult year. The only way we will get through is by sticking together, being kind, and offering help where it is needed, even more so over the Christmas time.”

For more information about getting involved with the Scotland Loves Local campaign, go to www.lovelocal.scot.

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