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Shoppers encouraged to support local businesses – safely


By Alan Hendry

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Scotland's economy secretary Fiona Hyslop says retailers have shown huge resilience since the start of lockdown.
Scotland's economy secretary Fiona Hyslop says retailers have shown huge resilience since the start of lockdown.

Members of the public are being encouraged to shop locally as retail businesses across the country reopen today.

Under the move to phase two of the Scottish Government’s route map out of lockdown, street-access retail can now reopen once guidance is implemented.

Today also marks the easing of restrictions on housing moves, outdoor markets, the construction sector, factories, warehouses and labs and research facilities.

Retail is one of the country’s largest employers and the reopening is underpinned by a new Scottish Government campaign to ensure shopping is safe.

The campaign, which includes posters for retailers, encourages members of the public to enjoy shopping again as they support businesses in their local area.

It asks shoppers to pay attention to signs, guidance and instructions from shop staff, to shop outside of peak hours and to follow current health guidance. This includes the wearing of face coverings.

Scotland's economy secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “The progress made in tackling Covid-19 because of compliance of the public with lockdown rules means we are now in a position to ease some restrictions.

“Shops with street access in high streets across the country will be reopening from today in a significant step towards the recovery of our economy, which has been very severely hit by coronavirus.

Shoppers are welcome back to their local high street as long as they shop safely and observe key safety messages.

“High street retailers have shown huge resilience since the start of lockdown and the work they have done to safely prepare for reopening, with close engagement between industry and trade unions, has been very welcome.

“As the high street reopens we are making it clear shoppers are welcome back to their local high street as long as they shop safely and observe key safety messages such as the wearing of face coverings.”

Andrew McRae, Scotland policy chairman at the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “We all have a part to play in breathing life back into our high streets and town centres. Local independent retailers have had a very long, tough few months and they need the public’s support now more than ever.

“We know that money spent locally stays in the local community – and local communities can’t recover unless local economies do so too.”

David Lonsdale, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “The last 14 weeks have been very challenging for retailers. Lockdown has forced them to rely on their limited reserves of cash and short-term financial support, including the Scottish Government’s grants and rates relief, to survive.

“Being able to reopen today is a chance for those businesses to recover, and hopefully thrive.

“In preparation shop owners have put in an immense effort to take every step possible to be ready to safely open and our hope is customers will come out and support their local town centre and high street.”


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