Leaders of Scotland’s city Business Improvement Districts highlighted the importance of choosing local as they met in Inverness.
Gathering during Scotland Loves Local Week (August 28 – September 3), managers and senior officers from across the country stood united to promote the initiative, which is encouraging everyone to support people and businesses in their community.
Aberdeen Inspired chief executive Adrian Watson was among those who attended the City BIDs Forum, at which key issues affecting improvement districts are discussed and best practice shared.
He said: “Local is our community and that includes our many businesses, in towns, villages and cities across Scotland. Never has there been a time when support is more needed.
“This campaign only serves to highlight the need for folk to get behind their communities and businesses so we have the thriving Scotland we all deserve.”
Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP) is the organisation behind Scotland Loves Local, as well as being the parent organisation for Scotland’s Improvement Districts (SIDs).
STP interim chief officer Kimberley Guthrie said: “Improvement districts do great work for our local places, with fantastic support and guidance to their membership, which we are quite rightly recognising as part of Scotland Loves Local Week.”
She added: “It makes a huge difference when people choose local. Not only are we protecting jobs, but we’re encouraging people back into local town centres.
“We’re seeing businesses thrive and we’re also seeing that hive of activity that we know and love on our high street that makes that difference in terms of local economic growth.
“Choose local, live local and enjoy local. Let’s make sure our towns, town centres and local places are there for our future generations and continue to thrive.”
City BID leaders met as a poll commissioned as part of Scotland Loves Local Week showed that increasing numbers of Scots say they realise the power of shopping locally and the value of spending in their local high street to ensure businesses and communities thrive.
Half of those questioned said they are prioritising using shops on their local high street rather than travelling further afield.
The poll of almost 1,400 Scottish adults found that:
- 85% agree it’s vital that people in their community support businesses on the local high street. 46% strongly agreed with the statement – an increase of 5% compared to 2021.
- More than two-thirds (73%) believe choosing local reduces unnecessary journeys and helps tackle the climate crisis.
- Three-quarters (77%) agree that choosing local keeps money in their local area for longer, improving quality of work and life
- 91% recognise that choosing local supports local jobs and employment opportunities.
Scotland Loves Local Week is throwing high-profile focus on the need for people to get behind businesses in their communities to lay the foundation for a stronger, more sustainable future which has localism at its core.
Improvement districts of all types from across the country have been at the forefront of the week’s activities, hosting political visits, other events and shining a spotlight on their vast work on social media.
There’s still time for your improvement district to take part. You can find out more information here – and you can join in the celebrations on social media using the hashtags #ScotlandLovesLocal and #ChooseLocal.