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Scotland Loves Local chief: 'Time has never been more critical for residents to stand by Highland businesses'

By Louise Glen

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A rallying cry has been issued for Highland residents to show local loyalty this summer and back the region's businesses.

The latest wave of the Scotland Loves Local campaign has launched today, Monday, July 5, with a clear message: It has never been more critical to choose local.

Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP), which is spearheading the campaign with support from the Scottish Government, says positive personal decisions now can help the region’s recovery from Covid-19 and build a stronger future.

STP chief officer Phil Prentice said: “Across the Highlands, the power of choosing local and supporting your region's businesses should not be underestimated. As individuals, making the right choice has never been more important for our communities.

“As more options open up, we cannot afford to overlook the people and businesses who have been there when we needed them most during the pandemic.

“We need people to make a conscious decision to support those around them - whether for shopping, services, a meal with friends or a day out. By choosing local we will make a tremendous difference to the fabric and fortunes of our communities.

“If there is a positive which has come from the pandemic it is the way that we have all embraced local life. We must enhance that during recovery so that we do not fall back into unsustainable habits of the past. The future of businesses and jobs around us depends upon it.”

The Scotland Loves Local campaign, launched last summer championing the message for people to think local first, has supported projects and groups across the region.

Scotland Loves Local
Scotland Loves Local

The 'choose local' message is being supported by a major marketing campaign in which local businesses and organisations are being urged to get involved. Details about how to do so can be found at www.lovelocal.scot.

This summer will also see the rollout of the Scotland Loves Local gift card, which will give people another way in which to support businesses in their home region.

Businesses are being urged to sign up to accept that ahead of shoppers being able to buy the cards. Purchases are processed via the Mastercard network, with the initiative supported by the Scottish Government.

Community wealth minister Tom Arthur MSP said: “We are delighted to be backing this innovative scheme as part of our pledge to support local businesses and communities within the first 100 days of government.

“The gift card is a quick and efficient way to encourage spend and drive sales growth in our local economies. Thanks to Scottish Government funding, this is the first of its kind on a national scale and I look forward to seeing businesses benefit from the opportunities it presents.

“In the coming months we will further bolster the Scotland Loves Local (SLL) campaign with the second tranche of our SLL Fund, helping communities revitalise their own towns or neighbourhoods, building wealth and delivering greater, greener and fairer prosperity.”

For more details about the Scotland Loves Local gift card, go to www.lovelocal.scot/giftcard.

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