South Scotland MSP Emma Harper is encouraging people to shop locally in the run up to Christmas and has commended the region’s local businesses for the part they have played during exceptionally challenging times, as highlighted in the national Scotland Loves Local campaign.
A number of small businesses based throughout region were awarded as High Street Heroes, including in Castle Douglas and Stranraer, in the Scotland Loves Local campaign last week (3 November) for stepping up during the coronavirus pandemic and demonstrating innovation, resilience, a welcoming manner and a safe environment.
Scotland Loves Local is a Scotland-wide campaign, funded by Scottish Government, the Federation of Small Businesses and the Scottish Grocers Federation, designed to encourage those who live in Scotland to think local first and support their local town centres and high streets safely and in line with public health guidelines.
The outbreak of coronavirus has caused significant challenges for town centres, high streets and local businesses with a considerable loss of trade because of closure to keep communities safe. Many businesses have operated above and beyond to support the most vulnerable people in communities.
Whilst Dumfries & Galloway (Tier 2) is currently deemed a lower risk area than some other part of Scotland coronavirus still poses a significant risk to local communities and so it is important that people continue to follow the public health advice and FACTS (Face coverings, Avoid crowded places, Clean hands regularly, Two metre distance, Self-isolate and book a test if you have symptoms.
Last week Ms Harper asked the Scottish Government what financial support was in place for local businesses in Dumfries & Galloway, mentioning several small producers in Dumfries & Galloway during parliamentary questions.
Ms Harper asked; “How will the Scotland Loves Local campaign support and encourage community shopping? This is a good opportunity for local projects and local businesses. Can the Cabinet Secretary outline how those in my constituency can apply for the fund?
Cabinet Secretary Aileen Campbell, said;
The Scotland Loves Local Fund will provide between £500 and £5000 to businesses who look to develop projects which improve and promote their local place and communities. Application forms and guidance notes are on the Scotland’s Town Partnership’s websitewww.scotlandstowns.org
• Find out more about the campaign and how you can get involved here: lovelocal.scot/how-to-get-involved/.