West Scotland Labour MSP Neil Bibby has this week championed local businesses and communities as they mark the first Scotland Loves Local Week.

Spearheaded by Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP), the organisation behind the Scotland Loves Local Campaign, Scotland Loves Local Week (Monday 28 August – Sunday 3rd September) is showcasing great local people and enterprises, highlighting the critical need for residents to support them to build stronger, more sustainable communities for the future.

Throughout Scotland Loves Local Week, businesses and politicians are joining forces to call on everyone across West Scotland to get behind local businesses in order to help communities tackle the triple challenge of the cost of living crisis, the climate emergency and the ongoing financial fightback from the coronavirus pandemic.

Visiting Paisley Gift Cart and Wm. Phelps in Paisley during Scotland Loves Local Week, Mr Bibby heard about the fantastic work the business owners are doing as well as some of challenges they are currently facing.

Neil Bibby MSP said: “Local businesses such as Wm. Phelps were what kept communities across Paisley and Renfrewshire going throughout the pandemic, and Scotland Loves Local Week is our chance to thank them.

“I was pleased to meet with Paisley Gift Cart and hear about the fantastic work they are doing to support the local community. By getting behind these local enterprises, we can ensure their survival during the cost-of-living crisis, safeguard jobs, and keep money circulating in the local economy.

“Loving local means supporting a sustainable future for Paisley and Renfrewshire – making it an even better place to live, work and visit.”

Photo: Neil Bibby visits Wm. Phelps (and headline photo, Neil visiting Paisley Gift Cart)

Born as the nation emerged from the first Covid-19 lockdown in summer 2020, Scotland Loves Local has evolved into a campaign for longer-term good – encouraging people to make the places they live better by supporting the people and businesses around them, and in doing so, potentially injecting millions of pounds into regional economies.

The campaign is spearheaded by STP, with support from the Scottish Government.

Kimberley Guthrie, STP’s Interim Chief Officer, said: “Scotland Loves Local Week is a nationwide celebration of local excellence and it is fantastic that we’ve welcomed more than 50 MSPs and MPs from across the country into businesses, social enterprises and community-led organisations to showcase the great spirit of entrepreneurialism and innovation we have here in Scotland.

“The simple act of choosing local has a profound effect, laying the foundations of a new future for towns and neighbourhoods as we seize and create opportunities to make them stronger and more sustainable.

“We need everyone to step forward and make a difference. Your community needs you.”

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News

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