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Think local first when shopping online to help Glasgow shops survive

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Scotland Loves Local campaign chief issues rallying cry to back region’s businesses digitally amid sharp rise in number of firms with online offerings

People across Glasgow are being urged not to forget local businesses when shopping online to help stores battle back from coronavirus.

The region is among 11 local authority areas which are the subject of the Scottish Government’s Tier 4 restrictions to combat the spread of the pandemic.

All stores deemed as non-essential must remain physically closed until December 11th as part of the measures.

But many are continuing to trade online – with the Scotland Loves Local campaign confirming a sharp rise in the number of businesses boasting a digital shopping platform in the countdown to Christmas.

A survey as part of the drive for people to think local first found that 41% of Glasgow businesses that responded said they had the capacity to take online orders, with 8% of them having only made that possible since the start of lockdown in the spring.

Scotland Loves Local, launched to fuel the nation’s financial fightback from Covid-19 from its grassroots, is led by Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP) with the support of the Scottish Government.

Phil Prentice, STP’s Chief Officer, said: “Whether in-person or online, it’s vital that we all think local first for all of our shopping needs.

“While many businesses have had to close their doors as part of the mass effort to slow the spread of coronavirus, a great number of them are still trading digitally and need our support.

“It’s critical to help their survival and to support a strong future for Glasgow’s high streets that we don’t automatically turn to internet retail giants online, but look at what our local shops are offering digitally – browsing their virtual shelves as we would the physical ones.

“The pre-Christmas period is critical for the region’s businesses. If we all buy as many gifts as we can locally – virtually or physically, when restrictions allow – it will make a massive difference. ”

Scotland Loves Local supports the Government’s calls for people to follow all safety advice when shopping.

Mr Prentice added: “Since the outbreak of coronavirus, local shops have gone above and beyond to find safe ways of staying in business and to ensure their loyal customers do not go without.

“Many who’ve never traded online before have swiftly set up websites for shopping and ordering. The way they’ve taken off in such a short space of time is remarkable. Please, don’t forget them.”

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

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