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Cross-party political support in drive for Scots to choose local

Politicians from across the political spectrum have been showing their support for Scotland Loves Local, championing calls for people to back businesses in their community.

Senior SNP, Conservative and Labour figures were among those who visited businesses in their constituencies, as well as taking part in key events, as part of Scotland Loves Local Week.

It was a tremendous show of support for the awareness-raising week, which shone a spotlight on the critical need to support local businesses to the future of our communities.

Ministers Joe FitzPatrick, front right, and Tom Arthur, centre, with STP’s Kimberley Guthrie and members of One Linlithgow launching Scotland Loves Local Week

Joe FitzPatrick, the Scottish Government Minister for Local Government and Planning, highlighted the importance of choosing local as he and Community Wealth Minister Tom Arthur on a visit to Linlithgow.

After meeting local businesses, Mr FitzPatrick said: “When you think local, whether you’re shopping or visiting, you’re not just doing your bit for the environment – keeping your carbon footprint down – you’re helping your neighbours, helping secure the jobs of your family and friends. It’s so important.”

Mr Arthur also visited some of the people behind local enterprises at Barrhead in his constituency of Renfrewshire South.

Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross met businesses in his Highlands and Islands region, as well as joining his party’s Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Business, Murdo Fraser, to meet members of Essential Edinburgh.

Douglas Ross, left, and Murdo Fraser in Edinburgh city centre

Deputy party leader Megan Gallacher, who is also a member of the Scottish Parliament Cross-Party Group on Towns and Town Centres, was also out and about in Hamilton, part of her Central Scotland region.

Mr Ross said: “We saw a huge amount of support from our local businesses for local communities during the pandemic. Now it’s our turn to reward those businesses for getting through those tough economic times by shopping local. These are businesses that have been here for years, decades and generations that provide a great local service. Let’s keep that in our towns and cities by getting behind them, and loving local.”Watch Douglas Ross and Murdo Fraser discuss the importance of supporting local businesses

Among the senior Labour politicians who got behind the week were Central Scotland MSP Monica Lennon, who visited a number of businesses who are part of Hamilton Our Town Business Improvement District.

Monica Lennon, right, out and about meeting members of Hamilton Our Town

Getting behind local businesses in Scotland’s cities 

Visiting businesses in Scotland’s capital city during Scotland Loves Local week, Edinburgh Northern and Leith MSP Ben Macpherson said:  “Local businesses are at the heart of our local and national economies and that’s absolutely epitomised in Edinburgh Northern and Leith. 

Ben Macpherson MSP on Leith Walk in Edinburgh

“We can all be local champions – supporting those businesses in our area where enterprise starts, new products emerge and Scotland’s next big thing can come from. But local businesses are also where we get the nourishment of our communities – whether it’s meeting people for a coffee, going to a local restaurant, buying something really interesting from a local shop, it’s so important to support that creativity across the board.”