Milngavie business people are the faces of major TV campaign to shop local

Lorna Quinn of The Dress Shop and Altered ImagesLorna Quinn of The Dress Shop and Altered Images
Lorna Quinn of The Dress Shop and Altered Images
Business owners in Milngavie are set to become TV stars as they spearhead the high street’s fightback from coronavirus, urging shoppers to think local first and safety first.

Members of the Milngavie Town Centre Business Improvement District are the faces of the Scotland Loves Local campaign, highlighting the critical parts they play in the community.

They feature in a major television and social media promotional push to encourage people across the country to support their local high streets and businesses - within all public health guidelines.

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Scotland Loves Local has been launched by Scotland’s Towns Partnership, with the support of the Scottish Government, to overcome the disruption caused by the Covid-19.

And it is hoped that messages from Milngavie will help motivate shoppers to help rebuild the nation’s economy from its grassroots and consider the enterprises on their doorsteps before travelling further afield or turning to massive online retailers.

Lorna Quinn, of The Dress Shop and Altered Images, has been in business in the town for 25 years and features in the campaign.

Sharing what’s special about the town, the mum-of-two said: “It’s not that often you come across a town centre with so many independent shops offering different types of businesses.

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“It’s important that people do shop locally because we need the support of the community. We’re here for the community.”

Scotland Loves Local encourages people not just to enjoy their town centres for shopping, but their pubs, restaurants and cafes also.

Billy Milligan owns the Finsbay and F Pizza restaurants in the town and employs between 30 and 40 people with his business partners, current Scotland rugby captain Stuart Hogg and fellow internationalist, former Glasgow Warriors captain Alastair Kellock. He also features as part of the campaign.

He hopes that positivity seen in the community towards local businesses during lockdown will continue and said: “The togetherness of the community has been particularly apparent during Covid.

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“People have stood together to support local businesses. Hospitality can be tough going, but during Covid I think the value of the businesses has shone through.”

Claire Durham, of family-run luggage store Reids of Milngavie, added: “People should shop locally because it brings an energy to the village.”

Other businesses which feature as part of the national campaign include Graeme Wilson, of Creature Comforts, Eleanor Barron of Elba, Grant Mosson from Avec Panache, interior designer John Amabile, Ian Lavrie of Allander Flooring and Wendy Ross, owner of Ruby Red and Driftwood Lifestyle.

Businesses nationally have been working with Business Improvement Districts, local authorities and others to put in place arrangements which mean people can shop locally, but safely. These arrangements include the use of screens, distance markers and signage, the provision of hand sanitizer instore and capacity limits.

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Phil Prentice, Chief Officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership, said: “The stories from Milngavie highlight the fact that our town centre businesses and the people who run them are part of the fabric of our communities, which is an important part of the Scotland Loves Local campaign. Sometimes for generations these people have been there for us. Now it’s time for us to be there for them.”

“The impact of coronavirus has hit our town centres and local businesses hard. We need to support them to get back on their feet in a way which recognises that we still need to stay safe and follow the public health guidelines. I’m sure the experiences of Milngavie will encourage them to do so.”

Scotland’s Communities Secretary, Aileen Campbell, said: “It is now more vitally important than ever to consider shopping, eating and drinking locally as we all have a role to play in Scotland’s economic recovery. Simple steps like choosing to visit a nearby shop or café, or buying goods or services from a business in your own community, helps support jobs and goes a long way to fostering the vibrant selection of products and services on offer close to home.

“By following the public health advice, we can all make exploring what the neighbourhood has to offer as safe as possible. I would encourage everyone who is able to head out and discover for themselves what living locally can offer them – I know that business owners at the heart of our communities will appreciate it immensely.”

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