South Ayrshire Council has been encouraging people to shop local in the run up to Christmas, following the move down to Level 3 of the Scottish Government's COVID-19 local protection levels.
The Council has been promoting the national campaign 'Scotland Loves Local' over the last few months in an effort to help local retailers through the challenges of COVID-19.
However, after many shops were forced to close their doors during the vital pre-Christmas trading period, the Council has been giving the campaign an extra boost recently, with banners in town centres; enhanced coverage on social media; and regular adverts in their digital and printed magazine, South Ayrshire Council Live.
Councillor Siobhian Brown, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Economy and Culture said:
"This has been an unbelievably difficult year for our local shops and businesses who have been faced with multiple restrictions and closures. We desperately want to help them get through this, and we've been asking all South Ayrshire residents to show their support for their town centres and high streets by shopping local this Christmas, in line with current Scottish Government guidelines to stay safe. We've been delighted to hear about lots of people choosing to do their Christmas shopping locally, rather than online or elsewhere, which is fantastic.
"Many of our retailers across our towns have also been helping us promote the benefits of shopping local – from ensuring spend stays local, to enjoying great service, protecting jobs, promoting local produce and many more. Local shops are the lifeblood of our communities, and we would ask everyone to please continue to think local as we move into the New Year, and seek to rebuild our local economy in the aftermath of COVID-19."
Eighteen year old Gemma from Ayr is one of the many people who chose to shop local this year. She said: "I chose to shop local for Christmas as I think it's incredibly important we give support to our town centres who have already suffered drastically from the impact of COVID-19. I found lots of lovely gifts locally, and I'm genuinely pleased with what I've bought. It would have been easy to do it all online and have it delivered to my door, but the bigger companies are making thousands of pounds every second, while our local shops are struggling. For our high streets to survive, we need to support them or they will sadly disappear altogether."
For more information on Scotland Loves Local, visit: www.lovelocal.scot