A major campaign has been launched to encourage Scots to shop locally and safely to help fuel the economic recovery from Covid-19.
The new Scotland Loves Local initiative aims to encourage the public to support local traders while observing all the public safety guidelines as the coronavirus shutdown continues to be eased.
The campaign, run by Scotland’s Towns Partnership in association with the Scottish Government, says local businesses have been at the heart of the coronavirus response in many communities.
It comes as Scotland moved into phase three of its route map out of lockdown this month, enabling badly-hit sectors like hospitality, tourism and retail to fully re-open.
Local pubs, restaurants, shops and attractions have had to implement a range of public health measures to operate safely, including the use of perspex screens, social distancing markers and signage, capacity limits and the provision of hand sanitiser.
Recent polling suggests two-thirds of Scots intend to shop locally as their high streets reopen in the wake of the pandemic.
Phil Prentice, chief officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership, 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.”
He added: “The breadth of businesses in our town centres is vast.
“Whether you need a book, a pint of milk, a night out and a meal, a bedside table or some garden furniture please think local first.
“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.”