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Scotland Loves Local: Laying the foundations for a better future

Scotland Loves Local is the drive to put localism at the heart of a stronger, greener, fairer Scotland. It is a galvanising force for food, bringing together businesses, community organisations, politicians and the public to collaboratively create better places in which to live, work and visit.

Spearheaded by Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP) – with the support of the Scottish Government – it encourages people to fuel a better future by choosing local; supporting neighbours, family and friends by getting behind businesses in their communities, ensuring they can not just survive, but thrive.

Safeguarding those shops, services, attractions and so much more provides the foundations for greater social, economic and environmental investment.

Born as the nation emerged from its first Covid-19 lockdown in the summer of 2020, this began as a campaign to drive immediate recovery from the financial fallout from the pandemic – encouraging local residents to be there for the people and businesses who had done so much for them, when they had never been needed more.

It was a message embraced in communities in every corner of the country – with #ScotlandLovesLocal becoming a flag-flyer for the charge to put local communities at the heart of the economic fightback from coronavirus.

Triggering action

Business Improvement Districts, chambers of commerce, councils and many other organisations used the branding and messaging we made available to them as a call to action which struck a real chord, undoubtedly helping local businesses to survive.

A high-profile, award-winning multimedia campaign gave voice to those who needed that support and highlighted the positive impact of action.

Scotland Loves Local created new connections and brought fresh players into our place-making agenda. The life-changing legacy of the pandemic was that many of us had never spent more time in our home communities. The five-day commute is unlikely to return for many.

And, while the campaign continues to play a part in the long-term recovery from coronavirus, its potential to be about so much more is now being fully embraced.

The climate emergency and cost of living crisis

That same message of the critical need to be there for our local businesses – protecting jobs, keeping our communities vibrant and supporting those around us – is as true as we respond to the cost of living crisis as it was as we all emerged from lockdown. And it’s one being championed powerfully by Scotland Loves Local.

The campaign is demonstrating that, by being there for each other in our communities – thinking local first for all of our daily needs – we can face the challenges together and put ourselves in the best possible position to come out of the other side to ensure our communities become fairer and wealthier in the long run.

Supporting local businesses is environmentally sustainable too.

Reducing journeys – and the miles that goods travel to reach us – has a significant part to play in achieving Scotland’s net zero ambitions.

With an abundance of fantastic food and drink producers on our doorsteps, great places to eat, stunning attractions to visit and a spirit of entrepreneurship that should be celebrated, Scotland Loves Local is reminding the nation that we do not always need to look further afield.

 

The Scotland Loves Local Gift Card

Scotland Loves Local is constantly innovating to create ways in which people can support their communities.

In thousands of businesses across the country, you can also show your support – and lock spending into your local economy – by spending using the Scotland Loves Local Gift Card, developed by Scotland’s Towns Partnership working alongside Perth-based fintech Miconex, with support from the Scottish Government.

As a traditional present, corporate reward and a tool by which support can be channelled directly to low income families, the cards have already injected millions of pounds into local economies across the country.

Choose local in person and online

The Scotland Loves Local campaign has also demonstrated that, if time pressures mean that you need to buy something online, you can be sure that a local business will have what you’re looking for on their website.

Digital innovation has an important part to play in building better communities. Whether you click-and-collect or arrange a delivery to your home, supporting local businesses online is another way of ensuring they can continue to be there for you.

True economic and environmental sustainability lies in our local communities. Scotland Loves Local is the beating heart of positive change, bringing together those who can build the better future we all desire.

Get involved

You can join in our conversation – and spread the word – on social media by using the hashtags #ScotlandLovesLocal and #ChooseLocal

Find out more about Scotland Loves Local – and download assets to promote the message in your community – at www.lovelocal.scot

Sign your business up to the Scotland Loves Local Gift Card here

Be inspired and celebrate success: Read all about the Scotland Loves Local Awards here