LOCAL businesses are being supported this Christmas with a new campaign to encourage Scots to shop local.
“Love Local” is a campaign from the tourism industry aiming to get shoppers into local businesses at a time when they need them.
VisitScotland has created the campaign in order to try and protect businesses for the future.
Working with partners across the country, the campaign will use the organisation’s website and social channels to showcase the vast range of gifts, products and experiences people can find locally.
Vicki Miller, VisitScotland Director of Marketing, said: “We know that 2020 has been tough for everyone, particularly for those in our valuable, vibrant tourism industry.
“Yet despite this, many of our tourism businesses selflessly put the public’s needs first – creating services that put a smile on our faces, made us feel just a little bit better during the hardest of times.
“Now many of these tourism businesses are worried for their future and it is our time to support them.”
As well as encouraging visitors to put Scottish tourism at the top of their Christmas 2020 wish-lists, the national tourism organisation has also created a dedicated advice page on its website.
“With the current five-level protection framework in place in Scotland and many people not able to travel, VisitScotland is working with others to look at how we can support local tourism to help with the devastating impact of the pandemic.
“We’ve made it easy for visitors, packing our website with inspiration and information about all the brilliant businesses they can support within their local area.
“Whether it’s buying gift vouchers, shopping online or on our high streets, dining out or booking a break on your doorstep; by loving local you are supporting communities during tough times and helping protect the places and businesses you love to visit and rebuilding our valuable visitor economy.”
The Scotland Loves Local campaign, led by Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP), has been leading the call for shoppers to think local first.
Phil Prentice, STP’s Chief Officer, said: “The ways in which our local businesses have been there for us throughout the coronavirus pandemic has been remarkable.
“They have innovated to offer new products and services, helped vulnerable members of the community and ensured a safe environment to shop.
“We must now be there for them and support them in every way we can.
“It’s so important, whether it be for retail or hospitality, that where we can, we think local first for all of our needs. This will ensure that our local businesses can continue to be there for us in the future.
“Whether you do it in person or online – to buy a physical item or a gift card – please support the shops, eateries, hotels and all of those close to you.
“By doing so, you are investing in your community – helping them not only survive the impact of the pandemic, but lay firm foundations for their future.”