Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton, is backing calls for shoppers to back businesses close to home this Christmas as research reveals the economic impact of thinking local first.
Research by the Scotland Loves Local campaign has found that businesses in West Dunbartonshire say that 58% of their expenditure stays in their local economy. Similarly, businesses in Argyll and Bute found that 62.5% of their expenditure stays in the local economy.
It’s a statistic that highlights the great financial power everyone can help unlock for their community during a festive shopping season where the need for local support has never been greater.
Scotland Loves Local is the drive for people across the country to support the nation’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic by getting behind businesses on their doorstep, whether in person or online.
The MSP said: “The fact that businesses in West Dunbartonshire and Argyll and Bute estimate that over half of their expenditure stays in our local economy is proof it’s vital for our communities for us all to think local first before looking further afield.
“We’ve all gained a greater appreciation for the people and businesses around us during the pandemic.
“Our local shops and services have been there for us like never before during 2020. Christmas is always a critical time of year for local businesses, but in the final shopping push this festive season, we need to be there for them more than ever. It’s time to be a hero for our high street heroes. We will all benefit from showing them our support.
“And please show your support safely. Always follow the FACTS guidance and show patience, kindness and consideration to your fellow shoppers, shop staff, cafe workers and anyone else you meet.”
An average of three-quarters (73%) of expenditure from local businesses across Scotland is reinvested in the local economy, Scotland Loves Local found in a survey of businesses nationally.
He’s only got eyes for Santa Claus.
The campaign is spearheaded by Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP) with the support of the Scottish Government.
STP Chief Officer Phil Prentice said: “There are tremendous shops across the region which need – and deserve – local support now more than ever as they continue trading despite the challenges caused by coronavirus.
“Whether it’s in-store or online, the innovation that local businesses have shown to support their communities and customers during 2020 has been tremendous. They’ve shown remarkable innovation, launching new products, services and packages while creating safe trading environments.
“We’ve also seen an explosion in the number of local stores, suppliers and attractions operating online, meaning the ways in which we can support the shops from our local high street have never been greater.
“The best gift that we can give local businesses this Christmas is our support. Money spent locally stays local for longer.”
Across Scotland, two-thirds (67%) of people questioned in a poll commissioned by Scotland Loves Local said they intend doing some Christmas shopping in stores on their local high street, where possible, while 68% of those questioned will buy from local high street shops online where they can.
For more information about getting involved with the Scotland Loves Local campaign, go to www.lovelocal.scot or follow #ScotlandLovesLocal on social media.