South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has urged people to continue to ‘think local’ as more shops across the region re-open.

When Covid-19 measures hit earlier in the year, many people turned to local firms to provide essentials during lockdown. Many small businesses really stepped up to the mark and made huge efforts to ensure customers had the food and other items they needed.

However, as many non-essential shops across the south of Scotland re-open today (Monday), Colin Smyth is urging people to continue to support the local businesses they turned to during lockdown and remember that many small firms in the region provide amazing local produce.

Colin Smyth said: “As we move another step out of lockdown and we see many shops across the area opening their doors, I would urge everyone to continue to think local and buy from the small firms who went above and beyond for their customers during the pandemic.

“We saw many small businesses and shops stepping up to the mark during lockdown, by changing the way they worked and providing people with the essentials that they desperately needed. Now that many stores are physically opening their doors again and things are returning to a ‘new normal’, I would hope that local people remember to support those in their local area.

“We have so many amazing small businesses who provide all kinds of services and products and I would hope everyone continues to buy from them as we move out of lockdown.”

The local MSP is also urging the UK and Scottish Governments, as well as local councils, to rebuild the region’s high streets and ensure they are at the heart of the community as the area moves out of lock down including banning ATM charges, stopping bank branch and Post Office closures, more flexibility for cafes and pubs considering expanding outside eating and drinking areas in front of their premises and a South of Scotland ‘Think local’ campaign to urge people to shop locally.

Colin Smyth added: “This pandemic started out as a health crisis, but it has also turned into an economic crisis too, especially for rural areas. Many shops in the south of Scotland are facing an uncertain future and it is more important than ever that we support them as much as we can.”

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