Backing businesses at the heart of Scotland's communities

Monday, 3 August, 2020

A new campaign is encouraging people to rally round town centre traders and businesses.Scotland Loves Local logo

Scotland Loves Local - an initiative from Scotland's Towns Partnership - is being backed by the Council and its partners, who have been working with shops, service providers and organisations throughout the pandemic.

The aim of the campaign, supported by the Scottish Government, is to highlight the fact that it's the people behind the businesses which make town centres special - not simply buildings.

It also encourages everyone to show their support safely, following the latest social distancing and hygiene guidance.

A collaborative group including the Council, Business Gateway East Dunbartonshire, Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce, Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and community organisations has been working together to develop and deliver practical proposals to support town centre and business recovery.

* Milngavie BID has been successfully supporting the continuation of business activity in the town centre and promoting the work of community organisations - particularly online. Earlier this year it secured Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP) funding to help develop digital marketing. Visit for more information.

* In Kirkintilloch, Your Kirky - aka Kirkintilloch Community Council - is working with business partners to promote town centre and business activity. Visit and for more information.

* In Bishopbriggs and Bearsden, Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce has joined forces with the Council, Business Gateway East Dunbartonshire, and business and community champions. STP funding has been secured to create a campaign to encourage communities to shop and trade locally and safely.

* For the smaller centres of Lenzie and Lennoxtown, a more community-based approach is being taken. The Council supported Lenzie Community Council in its successful bid for STP funding, working with a local community champion to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), signage and digital marketing. Meanwhile, officers also supported Campsie Community Council as it secured STP funding to work with a community champion on PPE, distance markings and digital marketing.

As well as processing and paying out Scottish Government business grants - more than £12.5 million locally from over 1,400 applications - the Council has also provided advice and support in areas such as Trading Standards, Environmental Health, Licensing and Planning.

Councillor Vaughan Moody, Joint Council Leader, said, "I am delighted to welcome the new Scotland Loves Local campaign and would encourage people to support our town and village centres as much as possible, while staying safe and following public health guidance.

"A huge amount of work has been taking place within the Council to support shops, businesses and organisations at the heart of the East Dunbartonshire economy - particularly during the pandemic."

Councillor Andrew Polson, Joint Council Leader, added, "We have been working with local and national organisations to help support economic recovery and protect jobs, while being mindful of the continuing challenges associated with COVID-19.

"It has been a complex task to bring so many partners together, supporting and encouraging them to access and manage funding. Well done to everyone involved. I look forward to hearing more local success stories as we move forward together."

For business support information locally, please visit

Damon Scott, Chief Executive, Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce, said, "The partnership working being undertaken across our area is excellent, with a range of partners working hard to help support the local economy and local businesses.

"As Scotland begins to ease lockdown restrictions and move into recovery, now is the time to support our local businesses to get back on their feet. Businesses have been working tirelessly to ensure customers can return safely and our campaign messages reinforce the importance of following current guidelines."

Phil Prentice, Chief Officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership, added, "The impact of coronavirus has hit our town centres and local businesses hard. Now is the time for us all 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.

"By thinking local first, we can help Scotland’s economic recovery from its grassroots, supporting our town centres within all of the public safety guidelines. The impact we can have by doing this should not be underestimated."

* For more information about Scotland Loves Local and how to get involved, please visit

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